A 13-year-old girl in China with severe online gaming addiction spent a staggering 449,550 yuan (approx. ₱3.54 million) she stole from her own mother.

After getting hooked on video games on her smartphone, the teenage daughter stole her mother’s debit card and went on a spending spree. She bought games worth 120,000 yuan and in-app purchases worth 210,000 yuan. She also splurged another 100,000 yuan to purchase games for ten classmates at school, though she claimed she only did so reluctantly.

The mother, whose surname is Wang, remained unaware of the theft until her daughter’s secondary school teacher, alarmed by the girl’s excessive phone usage during school hours, brought the matter to her attention. When Wang finally checked her balance, only 0.5 yuan (~₱4) was left in the account.


The incident has gone viral in Chinese social media, with a video showing Wang going through a stack of bank statements and revealing all digital purchases her daughter made. Despite already being a teen, the daughter claimed she had a limited grasp on the concept of money. She also apparently hesitated to get help from the grownups, fearing that her parents would find out and get angry.

Let this disturbing tale serve as a wake-up call for parents to pay more attention to their kids. Such incidents are unfortunately quite common worldwide, given the pervasive allure of games and apps that are designed to be deceptive enough to lure children into paying for loot boxes and other microtransactions.

Source: South China Morning Post

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