A 13-year-old girl in China wiped out her family’s savings in just four months by spending 449,500 yuan (Rs 52,19,809) on online gaming, South China Morning Post reported. The unnamed secondary school student from Henan province in central China found her mother’s debit card at home and used it to fund her gaming addiction.
When the girl’s teacher noticed her spending a lot of time on her phone in school, she suspected that the teenager might be addicted to online pay-to-play games. She warned about the same to the girl’s mother, who checked her bank account and made the shocking discovery.
According to Elephant News, her mother Wang only had 0.5 yuan (Rs 5) left in her account.
In a video of the incident that has gone viral in China, the tearful woman is seen showing pages of bank statements detailing payments for mobile games.
When the girl’s father confronted her about the spending, she admitted she had spent 120,000 yuan (Rs 13,93,828) buying the games, and 210,000 yuan (Rs 24,39,340) for in-game purchases.
She had also spent another 100,000 yuan (Rs 11,61,590) buying games for at least 10 of her classmates.
“In spite of my reluctance, I paid when they requested me to for their games,” the girl said, adding that she was scared to seek help from her teachers.
The girl claimed that she knew little about money and its origins, so when she came across a debit card at home, she just connected it to her smartphone. Notably, her mother had given her the card’s password in case she needed money when they were not around.
According to Wang, her daughter deleted all mobile game transaction records on her smartphone.
The shocking story has gone viral on social media websites in China, with netizens divided on who should be held responsible.
One person said, ”A girl, aged 13 years old, already knows what she is doing, but she just doesn’t want to admit it.” Another called it the fault of her parents.
According to a 2022 McGill University analysis of smartphone addiction, the majority of addicts are in China, followed by Saudi Arabia and Malaysia