A man in Fengshan county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, is being probed for allegedly maltreating his 92-year-old mother by locking her up in a pigpen.
A video has gone viral on Chinese social media showing how the old woman, surnamed Yang, lived in a room measuring less than 10 square meters and containing only a wooden board covered by an old quilt for her to sleep on.
The video, believed to have been recorded by local media, showed that an iron gate outside the room was locked.
The local government sent a team to the house to free Yang.
"She was locked up when we found her, and her son and daughter-in-law were at home at that time," said Huang Huaming, deputy chief of Jinya town.
The officials contacted Yang's daughter to take care of her.
The couple said that the man's mother had asked to live in the room, adding that Yang has suffered from incontinence for years and she asked to move into the room for fear she would contaminate the house her son lives in nearby.
Yang was later transported to the local hospital and after a thorough physical examination she was found to be fragile, but fit.
She has returned home and is now living in her son's house.
Local police are conducting an investigation and collecting evidence.
"It is true that she has been abused, but the room was not fenced until a couple of days ago, so she wasn't locked up for years (as the video claimed)," said the local police chief surnamed Wu.
"We doubt whether she lived in the room willingly because we are not sure whether she has a sound state of mind at the age of 92," Wu added,
Yang's four children signed an agreement to look after their mother, according to which Yang will continue to stay with her only son, but her daughters will take turns to look after her.