Girl, 13, wastes her Chinese family’s savings by spending $64,000 on mobile phone games
- The teenager’s mother, Gong Yiwang, only found seven cents left in her account
- Schoolgirl deleted chat and transaction data to hide them from her parents
A 13-year-old girl in China managed to spend a whopping $64,000 on mobile phone games in just a few months, wiping out her parents’ savings without them knowing.
The teen’s mother, Gong Yiwang, only found out that her account had been looted after teachers from her daughter’s boarding school called to tell her they feared she was addicted to video games.
When Gong went to check her bank account, she found only seven cents left after the girl’s expenses, which spanned from January to May last year.
“I never thought a 13-year-old girl could do this,” she told Chinese TV channel Elephant News. ‘I am in a daze; my head feels like it’s going to explode.’
The girl, who has no name, managed to clear the account and hide the payments, delete chat and transaction data to hide them from her parents.
A 13-year-old girl in China managed to spend a whopping $64,000 on mobile phone games in just a few months (stock image)
Gong’s daughter not only spent her parents’ money on games for herself, she also went out on in-game purchases for her friends.
The young girl was devastated when her story came to light and told Elephant News that she was harassed by her classmates to send them money.
“If I didn’t send it to them, they’d be bothering me all day. If I told the teacher, I was afraid that the teacher would tell my parents and my parents would be angry,” she said with tears in her eyes.
The spendthrift managed to rack up a bill of £16,800 for game accounts, £30,000 for in-game purchases, and send money to ten of her classmates – bringing the total cost to a reported £68,000.
The story of the incredible month-long spending spree went viral on Chinese social media, with 140 million views on Weibo, Insider reports.
The Chinese government considers internet addiction a clinical disorder and has been working for years to curb gaming, which it previously described as “spiritual opium.”
In 2021, Chinese authorities will restrict minors from playing online games on weekdays (file image)
Last year, the regulatory body, the China Game Industry Group Committee, claimed to have successfully curbed youth gambling addiction through a series of strict industry laws.
In 2021, Chinese authorities restricted the playing of online games by minors, reducing their daily allowance to just one hour a day and only on Fridays, weekends and holidays.
Back in 2008China’s Ministry of Health began to consider Internet addiction as a clinical condition characterized by being online for more than six hours a day and having adverse reactions to not being online.
A 2018 report published in the journal of behavioral addictions found that nearly 12 percent of Chinese college students had Internet addiction disorder, which it called an impulse control disorder, “similar to eating disorders, pathological gambling… and other addictions.”
According to China’s General Administration of Press and Publications, 14 percent of China’s minors, including 33 million under the age of 16, are obsessed with the Internet.