State media say a man who hacked three children to death and injured 13 others at a daycare center in southern China has been sentenced to death.

The official Xinhua News Agency says Wu Yechang was convicted of intentional homicide in a court in China's Guangxi region for the September 2012 attack that horrified the country.

Saturday's report says Wu suffered from illness and loneliness when he targeted the children at the Red Apple daycare center in Guangxi's Pingnan county.

Wu told police in 2012 that he initially wanted to kill himself but decided to do something bigger. Reports say he bought an ax and was wandering when he saw the daycare center.

Chinese schools have beefed up security following a spate of violent attacks on children in recent years.