British man charged in first Guangzhou bigamy case involving foreigner Published: 2013-7-23 17:26:08

A British man and his Chinese wife face up to two years in prison after being charged in what is the first case of bigamy involving a foreigner to be prosecuted in Guangzhou, reports the Guangzhou Daily.

The Yuexiu district procuratorate found 48-year-old Briton Jim Smith and Li Min (pseudonyms) guilty this month when his UK wife of 22 years and mother of his four children filed charges against the couple.

Both Smith and Li have been released on bail, said the paper.

Smith arrived in Guangzhou on business in September 2005, when he explained he fell in love with his Chinese business partner Li. The two were promptly married.

Smith's wife explained Li knew that Smith was married because they had discussed it during her visite to Guangzhou with one of their daughters in December 2005.

Smith's wife grew suspicious a year later after finding intimate pictures and wedding photos of the couple on Smith's computer. He later admitted to his wife that he had fathered two children with Li. 

According to Chinese Law, having prior knowledge of a partner's previous marriage also qualifies as bigamy, and also carries a maximum two-year sentence.

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