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Chinese Couple Sells Kids To Fund Online Gaming 223

Posted by samzenpus
from the achievement-unlocked dept.
A Chinese couple who really like to game are under arrest for selling their kids and converting the money into game currency. From the article: "In 2009, Li Lin and Li Juan welcomed their second child, a baby girl, and came up with the idea to sell her for money to fund their online game obsession. They did so, receiving RMB 3,000 (less than $500), which they spent entirely shortly after. The couple then proceeded to sell their first child and got 10 times as much for him -- RMB 30,000, or about $4600. Upon having their third child -- another boy -- the parents followed in their previous footsteps and also got RMB 30,000 for him." I wonder what the "kid seller" achievement looks like?
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Chinese Couple Sells Kids To Fund Online Gaming

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  • Gold? (Score:3, Funny)

    by mfh (56) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:38AM (#36896252) Homepage Journal

    What exactly would that be in wow gold?

  • Industrious (Score:4, Funny)

    by MischaNix (2163648) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:39AM (#36896280)
    Three? That's far more children than your average non-Chinese WoW player could produce. Industrious folks, those.
    • > Three? That's far more children than your average slashdot poster could produce.

      FTFY

  • I believe that looks like a jail cell.
  • Good for the kids (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Manfre (631065) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:41AM (#36896332) Homepage Journal

    The couple clearly should not have any kids. It's good that other, hopefully more capable, people will properly care and provide for them.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:49AM (#36896502)

      People who buy other people's kids frequently don't have their best interests in mind.

      • by v1 (525388)

        People who buy other people's kids frequently don't have their best interests in mind.

        And lets not completely forget the so much less likely "infertility" angle of adoption...

      • by Chemisor (97276)

        People who buy other people's kids frequently don't have their best interests in mind.

        You would then prefer the kids stay with their parents who don't have their best interests in mind either?

      • Currently there is a min scandal running in China where officials sized “illegal” children and put them in an orphanage. Western couples would then adopt the kids, paying a lawyer to handle the paperwork – because in an opaque legal system like China you can’t do it yourself. And you can’t tell the difference between a legitimate fee and one that is not. The lawyer would kickback a portion of their fees, and the orphanage would kickback funds to the official who sized the

      • Define "frequently". It's my understanding that adoption is incredibly expensive and actually adopting a newborn baby is very difficult to do. People who don't have $30k to burn may well turn to this avenue with nothing but good intentions. I would be astounded if more than a tiny percentage of baby buyers were intending anything other than raising a child that they couldn't have themselves.
        • Wow. You really believe that, don't you? You honestly think people who buy children want to take the kids to Disneyland and buy them a pink pony. Could you send me $2000 so I can buy a child of my own? Honestly, I'm not lying.
    • by AikonMGB (1013995)

      While that sounds right in principle, do you think the kids are any better off with someone that purchased them with money, as if they were goods to be owned, or services to be rendered (both of which are scary thoughts).

      Aikon-

      • by darjen (879890)

        If a couple really wants kids but cannot afford to have them, then why not? It's not saying they are goods to be owned. It's saying that someone will pay for the privilege of raising them in a real family instead of people who are addicted to online gaming. Turning it into a black market makes it much more difficult to ensure they would go to a good home. And much easier for less scrupulous dealers to get in. Perhaps if it was legal and regulated, it would be a much easier alternative to adoption for famili

        • by jrroche (1937546)
          There's the possibility that some lovely foreign gay couple purchased all three of them because their local adoption agency wouldn't approve them just because they're gay, but gosh darnit, they'll love those kids and give them a wonderful environment and keep all the brothers and sisters together and it'll just be great. There's also the much likelier possibility that they were sold into some kind of slavery, sexual or otherwise, because such a practice is still quite prevalent in various developing countr
        • It isn't just difficult to ensure they go to a good home, it makes it insanely improbable. There are legitimate adoption routes, one who doesn't go through them is most likely one who has reason to not go through them. Especially since if I recall at least one of them was a girl (In general in china if I recall daughters are not wanted, and if someone is spending money to have one it is likely an investment that they expect her to have worked and paid the cost of her purchase by the age of 13)
      • by Manfre (631065)

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but children are property until they reach a "legal age". If a 13 year old runs away from home, they will be brought back to the parents (property owners) the same as a dog, car or other item that can be identified as belonging to parents. Children also cannot enter in to binding contracts without parent consent.

        Many caring people adopt (a.k.a. purchase) children from other countries, which would certainly lead to a better life for the purchased child. The story doesn't mention i

        • Re:Good for the kids (Score:4, Informative)

          by DrgnDancer (137700) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @01:15PM (#36898066) Homepage

          In most developed countries if a child runs away from home and shows signs of abuse or neglect, not only will they not be sent back home immediately, but the family will be investigated: possibly losing all their kids and/or going to jail. A friend of mine laid down to take a nap with her 1 and 3 year olds. She was awakened around 35 minutes later by a knock on the door. It was the police, with her 3 year old. He'd apparently decided that he wasn't sleepy, and wanted to walk to gramma's house. He'd created a stool from some books to reach the front doorknob and had walked about three blocks before a neighbor saw him and called the cops.

          Since the kids was obviously cared for and not abused, the cops brought him home; but child services was by the next day to talk about it and continued to check in for a few months. This was for an obviously well dressed, well fed, kid with no bruises or signs of abuse, who had clearly "escaped" at nap time. You can bet things wouldn't have been nearly as polite if there were any signs of abuse or neglect. Now I thought child services was being ridiculously over cautious, but then again I know my friends and I know they take care of their kids. From an outsider's perspective I suppose they were just being prudent.

        • Many caring people adopt (a.k.a. purchase) children from other countries, which would certainly lead to a better life for the purchased child.

          Legitimate licensed adoption agencies (a.k.a. child trading organizations) are expected to vet the buyer's ability to take care of the child, and they strictly limit [childwelfare.gov] the types of expenses that an agency may include in the price of the child.

    • by magarity (164372)

      The couple clearly should not have any kids. It's good that other, hopefully more capable, people will properly care and provide for them.

      China is highly patriarchal so the little boys who sold for big bucks will be raised with no idea they were bought elsewhere and treated as well as possible as sons of the new family. The little girl who sold for 1/10 of the boys' prices will end up in a situation like Cosette with the Thenardiers.

    • by he-sk (103163)

      Yes, human traffickers are known to care about their "product."

      There is no guarantee at all that the children ended up in a loving family. It is much more likely that they are being exploited (or even dead).

    • by Plekto (1018050)

      Well, the good part about this is that they don't have any kids any more. Let's hope they went to responsible people instead.

  • With a billion people in China, and rampant starvation, who the heck would pay that much (relatively) for a child?! Did they sell to a foreign couple or what?

  • by rjejr (921275) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:45AM (#36896406)
    People have been selling their kids since, well, people have been having kids. I'll admit this is the first time I've heard of it strictly for gaming purposes, but they didn't trade in their kids for games - they sold them for money - only what they did with the money is different.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is the only reasonable comment I have read on this story. People should study anthropology to understand this issue. Essentially cultures that place very little value on the act of sex will typically place very little value on the results of the low value act. Cultures that place a very high cultural value on the act of sex will place a high value on the results. Asking people to place a low value on an act and a high value on the results of the act creates a contradictory cultural value system whi

      • by digitig (1056110)
        Except that China places a pretty high cultural value on the act of sex.
      • Please explain the US attitude towards sex and all things sexually and the overbearing "think of the children" policies.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          Please explain the US attitude towards sex and all things sexually and the overbearing "think of the children" policies.

          It gets more complicated here.. In the US, there are two general views on the issue:
          1.) Low value on sex, low value on fetus, high value on children (generally liberals)
          2.) High value on sex, high value on fetus, low value on children (generally conservatives)

          • I'm a proud liberal, I support abortion rights; but I was horrified to hear that around a fifth of all pregnancies end in abortion [wikimedia.org] (I should thank a right wing zealot for pointing that out by the way). No-one supports that. I don't happen to support criminalizing women for having abortions, but it does not mean that I consider fetuses to be "low value". I just wish we could concentrate on reducing the abortion rate rather than debating how harshly pregnant women "of the wrong sort" should be treated.

            Quite f

            • We could educate kids about safe sex and provide birth control as a basic service.. But given the current political climate, that will never happen. Conservatives are in power (don't kid yourself, Democrats are mostly conservatives too -- they're just not frothing at the mouth), and given the high value of fetuses, they want as many of them as possible. If they grow up poor and uneducated, all the better, as that makes the rich even richer in comparison.
            • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

              by jez9999 (618189)

              I'm a proud liberal, I support abortion rights; but I was horrified to hear that around a fifth of all pregnancies end in abortion [wikimedia.org] (I should thank a right wing zealot for pointing that out by the way). No-one supports that. I don't happen to support criminalizing women for having abortions, but it does not mean that I consider fetuses to be "low value".

              Honestly, why not? Assuming we're talking about early fetuses, they have - by all intents and purposes - as much sentience as the cells that

          • by Dutch Gun (899105)

            I don't think it's quite fair to paint either liberals or conservatives like that (I'm a conservative myself, btw). Most people I know, liberals and conservatives alike, place an extremely high value on both the fetus and child, especially their own. I'd go so far as to argue this is the natural human instinct - to protect and nurture one's progeny. Like any generalization, of course you'll find varying degrees and plenty of outright exceptions and contradictions.

            • I don't think it's quite fair to paint either liberals or conservatives like that (I'm a conservative myself, btw). Most people I know, liberals and conservatives alike, place an extremely high value on both the fetus and child, especially their own. I'd go so far as to argue this is the natural human instinct - to protect and nurture one's progeny. Like any generalization, of course you'll find varying degrees and plenty of outright exceptions and contradictions.

              Warning: generalizations ahead

              Conservatives feel inclined to get involved in the reproductive rights of others. Most are against abortion under any circumstance, and a good deal of Catholics are against birth control. The natural conseqence of them getting their way is that the people most likely to abort pregnancies (women at or near poverty) are forced to have children they can't afford. Now, this might be alright, if and only if those children are cared for adequately. Unfortunately, the same peopl

  • It must be true!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr Kool, PhD (173800) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:47AM (#36896450) Homepage Journal

    No link to original source? And original source is supposedly Chinese state-run media??

    Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

    • by Dyinobal (1427207)
      ya this story has been making it's rounds for about a week on the internet and I can't find any real world source for it. It's like the story appeared out of no where and then just proliferated itself.
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        ya this story has been making it's rounds for about a week on the internet and I can't find any real world source for it. It's like the story appeared out of no where and then just proliferated itself.

        But, did it sell its offspring to further its gaming habit? If not, it's not really living up to the hype is it?

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Aye, this is setting off my bullshit detector.

      So they had three children in China, and sold them all without the government sticking their nose into their business?

      • Did it threaten the rule of the great party? No? Then why bother sticking the nose into it?

        Totalitarian regimes are much more concerned with their own well being than with that of their subjects.

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        The nose is stuck, it would seem. If the government hadn't gotten involved they would likely be still playing WoW, and not in jail for selling their kids.

    • No link to original source? And original source is supposedly Chinese state-run media??

      Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

      Here is a link from the English China Daily [chinadaily.com.cn] which is state run [wikipedia.org]. And here's a tabloid branch of the People's Daily [globaltimes.cn] running the story but usually this paper focuses on global issues [wikipedia.org].

  • by bradorsomething (527297) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:48AM (#36896488)
    You have earned the Achievement: "Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Gold 'Em!"
  • Marked something "Redundant" when I meant to mark it "Insightful." Whoops.

  • they didn't seem to regret their transaction(s) because they sold three kids (and not all at once). They seem to have gotten better at it as they went along, getting higher and higher prices. (Or maybe the later ones were just cuter/harder working).

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/229318/kid_sells_kidney_for_ipad_2_regrets_transaction.html [pcworld.com]

    • by snl2587 (1177409)
      The second two children sold were male, and worth more in that society than the young girl.
  • ...a gold farm is shopping for more child slave labor to produce more virtual crap to sell to negligent parents.

  • I know if they were white and living in the US, we'd say "white trash" or "trailer trash." I can think of no such name for these people though. Most asian stereotypes are actually pretty positive. The frequent addiction to gaming/gambling and drugs doesn't get much discussion, but China's history in that regard is extreme and goes back thousands of years.

  • uh. they do worse things to baby girls because of the "one child" law (you can only have one.. face stiff fines for every extra kid) boys are traditionally "worth more" as evidenced by the selling price(s)

    that baby could have been killed simply for being the "wrong" gender.

    now, sqeezing puppies as source of income is fucked up.. but less fucked up than killing girls.

  • Child Farmers!
  • So short sighted thinking! All they'd have to do is sustain them for about 5 years and show them how to farm gold.

    tststs, people slaughtering the goose that lays the golden eggs...

  • Whenever I read about these stories from china, I wonder... how much is true? It's sourced from a Chinese paper, which means it could very easily be a government plant. An effort to scare the people away from western MMORPGs and the internet in general, where they may be exposed to non-Chinese culture. It wouldn't be the first case of a government creating a moral panic for political reasons, and when it comes to manipulating media and population China has perhaps more skill than any other government.
    • I would imagine that it's true--at least as far as any news story is true.

      Call me naive, but I tend to doubt the darker conspiracy. You see these sorts of stories from time to time--Parents Sell Children for . Heck, there've been stories of people offering their children for sale on craigslist. People get a laugh/shock out of these stories. They're popular. Thus, when they happen, they get reported.

      While I like a good conspiracy as much as the next guy, Occam's Razor applies: Newspapers print these st

  • M-M-M-M-Monster douche!

  • Seriously, how does this selling of kids even work? Is there a section for that on Chinese eBay? Is this just a payment for the permission to adopt, paid by infertile parents? Do adoption agencies bid on them, hoping to "remarket" them with a profit?
    • I heard it was like a consignment shop. You just stick your kid on a shelf until he/she sells. The store takes a cut based on how much salesmanship they need to do, so if you have an ugly kid you might be better selling privately on ChensList or something. I think I read this in the Economist, or I made the whole thing up.

  • Bloop!
    Achievement Unlocked
    Sold A Child - 50G

  • Scissors and needle + thread. Cut his off, sew hers up.
    Done
  • Pretty horrific if you ask me as a father of two young children. I worry about my kids health and safety all the time and they bring more joy to me than anything else ever has. If you can't take care of the kids, or don't want to, learn to use birth control. One of the reasons there are so many f***ed up people in this world is that they had parents that didn't care about their existence.

  • I know that's all I got from this story.

    The invisible hand of the market has spoken and proclaimed men 10x better than women!

  • Why is it wrong to sell your kids. People give them away all the time, and have little say in what happens to them after. What harm is done if they make some money on it?

    I'm not saying, "what harm could ever possibly happen," of course anything is possible. I'm asking what harm is done merely by accepting payment? Most women who plan to give their kid up for adoption while pregnant are often well cared for by the adoptees. That's a form of payment as well, but we allow for it. It's not so different

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