He was a man heading home to see his family.
A 26-year-old man, just like many others browsing the stores of an international airport looking for a gift for his wife.
The details of what he was doing in Perth are unclear – as unknown at this stage as the tragic fate of the flight he went on to board.
What is known is that somewhere back in China, his wife and family wait anxiously, desperate for news of flight MH370.
A shop attendant has told ABC radio in Perth of her chance encounter with 26-year-old Xian Wen Shi, while he was shopping at the duty-free store where she works at Perth International Airport.
Her tale of how she spent 40 minutes helping him choose a gift for his wife brings to mind images of a man so confident in business but so desperate to please his wife that his indecision seems charming.
She told the ABC that between Mr Xian’s limited English and her limited Mandarin, she learnt that he wanted to buy a present for his wife.
“With my help, he bought a lovely bracelet watch for his wife, and I wished Mr (Xian) and his travelling companion a safe trip back home,” she said.
He was headed to Kuala Lumpur where he boarded the doomed flight to Beijing.
The unnamed woman says she is devastated after finding out he was aboard the plane.
“I just wish to let his wife know that he was thinking about her with the purchase of the watch,” she told the ABC.
She wrote an email, which Malaysia Airlines have said it will pass on to his wife, telling of her chance encounter with a stranger.
“As for myself and the ones still here, it’s a message to make the most of every day, be kind to each other, love your family and friends, and be happy with what you have, even in your crappiest day at home or work.
Remember, you are still here and get to see the sun rise with your loved ones.”