A 13-year-old girl in China managed to spend a staggering $64,000 on mobile games, leaving her parents devastated and their savings account completely drained according to a Wednesday Insider report.
The event came to light when Gong Yiwang, the girl's mother, received a call from her daughter's concerned teacher at the boarding school, who suspected the child was addicted to pay-to-play games, according to Insider citing Elephant News, a regional TV channel in the Henan province of China.
After checking her bank account, Gong was horrified to discover that only seven cents remained and her life savings had been wiped out by her own daughter.
Investigating further, she found that from January to May, her daughter had spent approximately $16,800 on purchasing game accounts and an alarming $30,000 on in-game purchases. The girl even transferred substantial sums of money to at least 10 of her classmates who wanted to buy game-related products, ultimately accumulating a grand total of $64,000.
Expressing her disbelief, Gong stated, "I never thought a 13-year-old girl could do this. I'm in a daze; my head feels like it's going to explode."
The emotional toll on the family was evident as Gong's daughter, tearfully confessed to Elephant News. She admitted to linking her mother's debit card to her mobile phone but claimed she had no knowledge of the source of the funds or the extent of her spending. It was revealed that she had obtained her mother's password during a previous incident when she had asked to make a different purchase.
The young girl's friends had noticed her spending and kept pressing her for money.
"If I didn't send it to them, they would bother me all day," the girl admitted to Elephant News. "If I told the teacher, I was afraid that the teacher would tell my parents and that my parents would be angry."
Additionally, the young girl deleted all chat and transaction records to conceal the payments from her parents, exacerbating the situation. Gong made desperate attempts to seek refunds from various payment platforms but had yet to recover her losses.
The story went viral in China
The news of the astonishing spending spree quickly went viral in China in late May, garnering over 140 million views on Weibo, the country's equivalent of Twitter.
This incident sheds light on the alarming issue of gaming addiction among Chinese youth. The prevalence of such addictions has led the Chinese government to implement internet restrictions for teenagers and children. In accordance with these regulations, teenagers are not permitted to engage in video games for more than three hours per week. Although progress has been made towards this goal, cases like this highlight the ongoing challenges faced by authorities.