Stanford professor suicide (The real story)


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Page last updated: 20/10/2022

Stanford professor suicide (The real story)

In this blog guide, we will give you detailed information about the Stanford professor suicide case. We will also look at what is a suicide, signs of suicide, and how to prevent suicide among your loved ones. 

What is the Stanford professor suicide case? 

A distinguished physics professor of the Ivy League College, Stanford, Shoucheng Zhang at Stanford University died due to suicide on December 1st, 2018, at the age of 55. His family believed that suicide was the result of the long-lasting battle against depression. However many come to believe that he was associated with the Chinese government, and the suicide was controversial. 

Who is the Stanford professor who passed away?

Zhang Shouchen’s story resembles something out of a John Le Carre epic, or possibly David Ignatius’ new spine-chiller Quantum Spy. Intellectually talented, with a vocation, loaded down with scholastic distinctions including a separated residency at ShanghaiTech University just as at Stanford.  Most notably, his research in a topological insulator — which led to the discovery of a new state of matter — led to predictions that his team would win the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics.

Zhang was born in Shanghai in 1963 and attended the city’s Fudan University at the young age of 15. He went on to pursue a Ph.D. in physics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he trained under Nobel Physics Prize winner Yang Chen-Ning.

He was known to be intellectually smart and known for his creativity worldwide. In 2013, Zhang set up Danhua Capital, also known as Digital Horizon Capital, which focuses on funding artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, and blockchain technology, among others.

The California-based firm has raised capital of US$434.5 million across two funds, according to Crunchbase.

What is suicide? 

Suicide is the act of taking one’s life. Suicidal behavior refers to talking about or taking actions related to ending one’s own life. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors should be considered a psychiatric emergency.

Usually, suicide is a result of various mental health borders such as depression and various other mood and psychotic disorders.  Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America. 

Stanford professor suicide (The real story)

Facts about suicide

  • Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
  • 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal individuals desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems.
  • The annual suicide rate of the United States of America is approximately 14 per 100,000 people dying a year by suicide. 
  • The most commonly reported means of completing suicide, across all groups, was by firearm (49.8%), followed by suffocation or hanging (26.8%), poisoning (15.4), cutting (1.7%), and drowning (1.2%).
  • Females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts.
  • Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, racial, and ethnic boundaries.

Signs of suicide or suicidal behavior 

In order to understand if someone is suicidal or if they are attempting to suicide, one should start with understanding the signs. People who decide to take their lives usually do not go around telling everyone about it. Instead, they try to manifest their words into various subtle actions that one needs to recognize. It is not very easy to notice these actions as theta re very sly. They sometimes look like a very normal action. For example, calling your parents and talking to them telling them you love them, or paying all your bills and doing everything that is undone. 

Here are a few signs of how to identify if someone is suicidal:

  • talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, or alone
  • saying they have no reason to go on living
  • making a will or giving away personal possessions
  • searching for a means of doing personal harm, such as buying a gun
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too little or eating too much, resulting in significant weight gain or loss
  • engaging in reckless behaviors, including excessive alcohol or drug consumption
  • avoiding social interactions with others
  • expressing rage or intentions to seek revenge
  • showing signs of extreme anxiousness or agitation
  • having dramatic mood swings
  • talking about suicide as a way out

How to prevent someone from attempting suicide 

If you are in a situation where you see that your friend or a loved one is showing signs of suicidal behavior, you might want to take immediate action. Waiting for it or letting it pass may lead to something worse. It leads to a situation where you may not be able to look at yourself in the mirror for taking the right actions. 

Here are a few things you can do, to prevent someone from attempting to suicide.

Ask them what they are thinking 

If you notice something in your friend or the loved one, start with confirming what you feel. And what is the best way to do that than using the person directly? It is believed that asking people about suicide will make them more vulnerable. However, this is just a myth. There is nothing wrong with directly asking your friend if he is moving towards suicide. In fact, the only problem is that you might be uncomfortable. Therefore, instead of asking ‘Are you thinking of attempting suicide?’, you can simply ask ‘Are you doing okay? Is there somehow I can help?’, ‘I feel you are not doing okay, maybe I can help’.

Be a good listener 

This is very important. Those who have thoughts of suicide or inclined towards suicidal behavior are very subtly asking for help. They want someone to listen to them and understand their feelings. So in case, someone confesses with you that they are having suicidal thoughts, it is your duty to listen to them patiently and actively. This way you can show them that they are loved and not disregarded. A very important factor in suicide is that they feel worthless. When you listen to them, they feel like they are wanted and this may reduce their feeling. Speaking out loud about what they are thinking might help them feel lighter and avoid the entire scene. 

Encourage them to get help 

There are various reasons why someone is feeling suicidal. As a friend or a relative, you cannot do much but be there for them. In order to avoid these thoughts in the future, it is important that the underlying cause is treated. Therefore, ask them to go to a professional. Get them the help that is needed. The help that will help them get out of the dark pit they are struggling in right now. 

Do not disregard their feelings 

Whatever it is, however, petty they may sound, you should never disregard or discount the feelings of someone who is showing suicidal behavior. What they are looking for now is someone who can understand them and be there for them. Instead, if you tell them that their feelings are not right or very petty, they may just lose the hope that might have left. This will only worsen the situation. 

Do not leave them alone 

Be there for those who are shoeing suicidal behavior. Call them for a sleepover, spend some time with them. But do not leave them alone.  This will only make them feel miserable. Moreover, it will give them the space for acting on their thoughts. We may not be able to prevent the thoughts, but we can certainly prevent the actions. If you are there with the person in the same room until they are fine, you can make sure that they do not take any ill decision. 

The conspiracy of suicide or unlawful killing

The Stanford professor suicide case is a controversial one. When professor Shoucheng Zhang died the family made an account that it was due to depression. They denied the allegations made by the media. 

Despite being a naturalized U.S. resident, Zhang kept in touch with the Communist system in China (the head of ShanghaiTech, for instance, is the child of previous gathering pioneer Jiang Zemin). His organization Digital Horizon Capital, known by the abbreviation DHVC, has been distinguished as a feature of a significant Chinese penetration exertion into Silicon Valley, as indicated by the U.S. Exchange Representative Richard Lighthizer’s most recent report on China—a report delivered only days before Zhang’s demise.

Lighthizer’s 53-page report is an update of his landmark March 2018 report on China’s unfair trade practices. The report exposed  China’s unfair, unreasonable, and market-distorting practices. The report explicitly named Zhang’s DHVC as a feature of the “web of elements” set up in Silicon Valley “to add the mechanical strategy objectives of the Chinese government.” Zhang’s DHVC, for reasons unknown, is vigorously back by the speculation arm of an element called the Zhongguancun Development Corporation (ZDG), a Chinese government state-claimed firm, which uncovered on its site during DHVC’s dispatch that Zhang’s outfit planned to zero in on imaginative innovation being encouraged at Stanford and somewhere else in Silicon Valley, to help ZDG.

In simple words, Zhang’s company was believed to be helping ZDG to get the information and buildup China’s high-tech hubs including ShanghaiTech, as well as companies like Ali Baba and Baidu. In an ironic twist, Zhang’s associations even have a direct link to Ms. Meng and Huawei, since DHVC also helped to fund a company that provided Huawei phones with the technology to allow users to use their knuckles for activating their phones. 

There’s no doubt that the Lighthizer report, and news of Ms. Meng’s arrest, made Zhang and his associations increasingly radioactive, especially with the increased scrutiny of China’s infiltration of Silicon Valley. Therefore there are those who wonder Zhang’s far-reaching and potentially explosive knowledge of China’s activities in Silicon Valley lead the Chinese agents have had a hand in his demise.


In this blog guide, we have given you detailed information on the Stanford professor suicide case. We have also looked at what is a suicide, signs of suicide, and how to prevent suicide among your loved ones. 

If you’ve enjoyed the Stanford professor suicide mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at UC Berkeley Depression too.

FAQs: Stanford professor suicide 

Which country has the most suicidal deaths?

Greenland is the country with the largest suicide rate with a great margin, after its last decade’s modernizing transformation from a remote colony to a welfare state. In addition, India, from the southeast Asian countries is the highest contributor to global suicide rates. 

What are the factors leading to an increase in suicidal tendencies in the youth?

Undesirable life events such as being bullied or recent losses, such as the death of a parent. Family history of mental or substance abuse problems. Family history of suicide. Family ferosity, including physical, sexual, or verbal or emotional abuse are a few factors that lead to an increase in suicidal tendencies in the youth 

What singer terminated himself recently?

Singer Chester Bennington, a member of the group Linkin Park, hanged himself in 2017.