13-Year-Old Girl Commits Suicide Attempting to Help Father

A migrant worker's daughter jumped from a building in an attempt to help her father demand unpaid wages from the propery developer and construction contractor.

From Sina Weibo:

@人民日报 [The People’s Daily]: #13-Year-Old Girl Jumps Off Building Trying to Help Father Seek Unpaid Wages# Unfortunately Dies — According to netizen @叶枫滴枫叶, this afternoon, when a Sichuan migrant worker went to a construction site in Hebei province Jizhou city to demand his unpaid wages, his 13-year-old daughter in an attempt to help her father jumped from the 16th floor of a high-rise building. At around 4pm, hospital workers said emergency rescue efforts will still underway. At around 5pm, relatives said the girl had died. According to reports, the girl’s name was Yuan Meng, and was a second year junior high school student. http://t.cn/RZOpE5x

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Please expose the name of this construction site and the construction company’s name.


I lack the strength to say anything. Rest in peace, little girl. [蜡烛]


[蜡烛][蜡烛] Those people who are behind in paying migrant workers’ wages, where is your conscience…?


It has already come to the point where migrant workers can only sacrifice their lives in order to get any attention, in order to make a single headline! The tragedy of our nation!


#13-Year-Old Girl Jumps Off Building Trying to Help Father Seek Unpaid Wages# Migrant Worker: We’ve Been Demanding Our Unpaid Wages For a Long Time, They Refuse to Pay — “We started working here in 2012, but our wages have yet to be paid, and we’ve already been demanding them for a very long time.” A migrant worker claims both the developer and construction contractor refuse to pay, that the migrant workers have also already sought help from government departments, but without any success throughout it all, they had no choice but to come to the construction site to demand their unpaid wages. “Nobody knows when Young Meng and her grandmother went up the building.”


This father is inhuman, gambling with his child’s life. How innocent the child is.


Today, civil servants got a raise, their rights and benefits always so safeguarded/guaranteed. Today, migrant workers paid to demand their unpaid wages in blood. Why is it that even their own blood and sweat money cannot be safeguarded/guaranteed?


The People’s Daily is becoming more and more real. [爱你]

[Note: As a state newspaper, The People’s Daily is widely viewed (and ridiculed) by Chinese netizens as a government mouthpiece often filled with propaganda.]


This country has no dream. May you realize your dreams in your next left. [蜡烛]

[Note: The second sentence also involves a pun on the girl’s name, Yuan Meng.]


First, being in arrears on wages must be severely punished, with punishments implemented [legislated] for [employers] owing wages; second, it must be investigated to determine if the parent incited the child [to do/threaten this], because if so, they must be stripped of their parental guardianship, and prosecuted.


From NetEase:

Hebei 13-Year-Old Girl Jumps Off Building to Help Father Seek Unpaid Wages, Unfortunately Dies

The Beijing News report — Today (January 19th) around 1pm, at a newly constructed building in Hebei province Jizhou city, in an attempt to help her father get his unpaid wages, a 13-year-old girl jumped from the 16th floor, and afterward was taken to the Jizhou City Hospital. At around 5pm, relatives said the girl had passed away.

According to eyewitnesses at the scene, at noon today, migrant workers came to the Jizhou city Kailongyujing construction site to demand unpaid wages. Someone noticed a girl and an elderly person climbing onto the 16th floor of a high-rise building and immediately called the police. Firefighters arrived at the scene soon afterward, and inflated an air cushion on the roof of the ground-level shops.

A migrant worker who was also seeking unpaid wages at the scene says the little girl was their labor contractor’s daughter Young Meng (pseudonym), was 13 years old this year, and in junior high. She may have seen her father’s difficulties in demanding their unpaid wages and thus climbed onto the building with her grandmother, hoping to help her father successfully demand the unpaid wages owed to the workers.

Photos from the scene show a girl lying on the ground next to the air cushion on the roof of the ground-level shops, with blood visible on her head, as firefighters and paramedics working around her.

Migrant worker Mr. Ran says none of the workers knew when Young Meng and her grandmother had climbed up the high-rise, thought they were only trying to scare the property developer, and never expected that she would really jump. Mr. Ran says the grandmother went into shock after being brought down and learning that her granddaughter had jumped, and is currently still receiving emergency care.

“We started working here in 2012, but our wages have yet to be paid, and we’ve already been demanding them for a very long time.” A migrant worker told this Beijing News reporter that both the developer and construction contractor refuse to pay, that the migrant workers have also already sought help from government departments, but without any success throughout it all, they had no choice but to come to the construction site to demand their unpaid wages. “Nobody knows when Young Meng and her grandmother went up the building.”

At around 4pm, Jizhou City Hospital Emergency Room staff said rescue efforts were still underway. At around 5pm, relatives said the girl had died.

Comments from NetEase:

网易山东省枣庄市网友 ip:112.239.*.*

Behind the high-rise is a shadow, beneath the neon lights is blood.

1933569945 [网易上海市手机网友]:

Child, how can you be so stupid/foolish?! You are priceless to your parents.

网易福建省手机网友 ip:27.150.*.*

Investigate the relevant departments and government leaders, investigate them thoroughly.

网易云南省昆明市网友 [盗用你爹的ID]:

That expert who said the “Revival of the Chinese Nation” is at 60-some percent should come out and walk around.

[Note: The “Revival of the Chinese Nation” figure refers to an index created by Yang Yiyong, director of the Institute of Social Development Research at the Academy of Macroeconomic Research under China’s National Development and Reform Commission. It attempts to quantify China’s progress towards becoming a first-world nation through statistical data such as China’s Gross National Income. In 2007, the figure was at 46%. Chinese netizens were amused when it was updated to 62% in 2012, becoming a popular internet meme at the time, as alluded to in at least three chinaSMACK translations that year.]

13735639212 [网易北京市手机网友]: (responding to above)

I guarantee I won’t beat you [the expert] to death.

gringoirer [网易四川省网友]:

Little girl, rest in peace!

bnbhym [网易四川省攀枝花市网友]:

Truly heartbreaking!

巫山游云 [脑洞全开]:

Hope [CCTV] comes to interview them and asks “are you happy?

西交大 [网易陕西省西安市手机网友]:

The child was too naive!

无人相伴 [喵星人]:

I grieve for your misfortunes!

[Note: This is the first half of Lu Xun‘s famous quote “哀其不幸,怒其不争” expressing his sympathies and sorrows with the misfortunes that befall certain people but angry and frustrated with their failure to resist or fight for change, often associated with his general view on the plight of the Chinese people/nation.]

Both 13-year-old girls who threatened to jump off a building to commit suicide, yet for such different reasons. If you enjoy our translations and coverage of trending Chinese internet topics, please become a patron to keep chinaSMACK online. Thanks.
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  • Amused

    Yeah, be a real man and get your daughter to take the drop for you!

  • David

    Absolutely horrible. What are the young people being taught? Why do they go to such extremes? One young princess jumps off a building to help her father get back wages important but not worth her life), another blackmails mom into getting an abortion? Meanwhile so many are committing suicide because of pressure at school.

    • Mighty曹

      I think it’s time for a “Zero Child Policy”.

    • Jahar

      I often get the impression that they like to be overly dramatic here.

      • David

        Absolutly, but dead is dead.

        • Jahar

          Yeah, kids often don’t think about the consequences of their actions either.

  • Zappa Frank

    I don’t understand why she did think that jumping would have helped her father.. how? really sad.

    • Free Man

      I wonder if that’s really what she was thinking. We only know what others said. There is no explanation from the girl, no letter/video, so her relatives can say whatever they want, there is no one to call them liar.

      I am not saying the family is lying, but I don’t believe something, just because the story is sad.

      • Luke the Duke

        Yeah, maybe she jumped because he was raping her and she was fed up of it.

        • mr.wiener

          Luke…final warning.

          • Luke the Duke


            And there’s you guys complaining about being censored by advertisers.

          • Amused

            He IS your father!

          • mr.wiener

            You just posted on one story that a 13 yr old deserved to be raped (horrid child that she was). Now you are suggesting that this girl killed herself because she was raped …
            I’m not sure what your problem is ,but I suggest you keep it to yourself or take it somewhere it will be appreciated.

          • Luke the Duke


          • mr.wiener

            Je sui the mod.

          • Surfeit

            WIENER WINS!
            To be fair he had you at “take it somewhere it will be appreciated”.

          • WFH

            there goes Surfeit sucking on a Mod’s deek again..

          • Surfeit

            I like the boys, ‘cus I used to be one.

  • Donald Med

    Why is it taken for granted that that was the reason she jumped? Were is the evidence that that is why she jumped off the building?

    • Luke the Duke

      Or indeed, where is the evidence that she jumped?

  • Dolph Grunt

    I’m really not trying to joke around here, but does any unpaid worker ever call the police?

    • Amused

      You may not be trying to joke around bro, but that’s still a rather funny suggestion.

    • Edward Kay

      Who knows? Maybe it was a threat that went bad. Police can’t get you your unpaid wage. A court perhaps.

    • sk8erry

      No, they go to Department of Labor. Police only take care of emergent cases.

  • biggj

    “We started working here in 2012, but our wages have yet to be paid, and we’ve already been demanding them for a very long time.”

    Wait what? Was the guy still working there up to this point of the incident?

    • Teacher in China

      This apparently happens all the time, and in fact it happened to my brother-in-law. Workers are everywhere, so companies can give them jobs to do something and just not pay them, saying “We don’t have the money right now, but we will for sure pay you later.” So the workers trust them and keep working because hey they need to work, right? More and more time passes with no pay, and people start to get angry. In some cases though, there’s nothing to be done. The workers have no connections to put pressure on well-connected bosses, so either they quit, take the loss (and maybe petition the local government for a while), or they just wait it out and hope to get paid eventually.

      • yurah

        This happened all the time when my father worked construction here in the bay area. His boss would eventually pay him, but it usually took a month or two longer than it should. Completely normal in the construction world, but is really worrisome when you have bills to pay.

        • Vance

          Can they do it that way because they are considered independent contractors?

          • yurah

            They can since it’s cheaper for them, but its messed up.

        • Teacher in China

          Surprised to hear that. But actually, maybe not since there are recourses for workers in North America at least. They know that the bosses can’t get away with NEVER paying them, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

      • Poodle Tooth

        Or they sabotage their employers then leave.

        I’ve had to blackmail (Chinese) employers into paying me what I was owed.

        • Foreign Devil

          Yeah I was ready to take my office computer home with me when I thought the pay might not come.

      • biggj

        I could see a a month or 2 and than leave the job, there is no way I would work 2 year with no pay.How is that humanly possible. You need to eat and sleep somewhere.

        I know this happens all the time in china, wages go unpaid….im just curious on the time line of long long he went without pay, and if he still worked there.

        • Teacher in China

          Yeah agreed. The amount of time is huge. Maybe it was a case of getting 50% of his wages for that time so that he had enough to live on but still wasn’t getting the full amount.

        • Markoff

          that’s the point employer probably provided them dormitory and food, but not salary

      • Jahar

        “You’re building a building worth tens of millions, and we buy more supplies everyday, but we don’t have money to pay you.” That’s so believable.

        • vincent_t

          ” we are shooting missiles and dropping bombs, and we buy more ammo everyday, but we don’t have money to pay you.” says the US government to UN while the whole world watching.

          • Jahar

            What does that have to do with this?

          • vincent_t

            the weak 1 always get bullied, be it individual, organization or on national level.
            Ok, doesn’t seem very relevant. My bad, I guess my brain doesn’t really work when I am in office.

        • Teacher in China

          Yeah, I’m sure that few workers actually believe them, but again, what can they really do about it?

  • 宋易


    • biggj

      Pretty much….It’s brilliant really…the slaves actually apply to be a slave.

  • 宋易


  • realist

    Father: Why did he bring his elderly mother and daughter with him to a confrontation? Why did he work from 2012 to 2015 without pay? In this line of work, you need weekly, or at the very least, monthly pay. If you don’t get it, move on to another job and either take the loss or hound them over 1 week/month’s pay, which is a small sum that they can more easily come up with later.

    Daughter: Your father needs that money for you. If you jump, why is he here for money and what is he working for? One less drama queen.

    Construction company: Obviously, stop bullying migrant workers out of their pay.

    In a society where it’s every man for himself, I can’t help but feel that the workers need to protect themselves better instead of relying on the kindness and responsibility of the other party. Working for 3 years without pay is basically asking for trouble, seeing trouble, jumping into trouble, then swimming forward for miles in the trouble, and finally complaining there’s trouble.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      doesn’t seem like there are many alternatives. They don’t have a hukou in the city where they migrate to. Therefore they have few if any rights and no leverage.

    • Mighty曹

      You really are a ‘realist’.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Coming from this after the ‘forced abortion’ article, seems like China is full of extremes. Thank you One Child Policy.

  • Mighty曹

    The tragic irony is that she landed within a few feet from the rescue air cushion.

  • AbC

    RIP little girl.

    I don’t mean to be an ass, but I am curious as to why there’s an air cushion in the picture next to the dead girl? Were they expecting someone to fall/jump from the building? Was the girl suppose to land on it? Or it’s completely unrelated and was just there coincidently?

    • Read the article.

  • 42

    whats with 13-year old girls lately?

    • This one at least cared about her parents (even if foolish), where the 13 year old that forced her parents to abort her sibling was selfish.

  • Eric Hill

    Chinese business owners are inhumane bastards. Refusal to pay happens constantly in my city – to migrants, salesmen, teachers… everyone except the you-know-whos – god bless their worthless souls.

    • Poodle Tooth

      First priority on getting a new job should be getting something to use against your employer. Be that personal dirt, evidence of lawbreaking, sensitive intellectual property, whatever. Don’t do anything with it, or even let anyone know you have it until there’s a reason to get confrontational; just make sure you have it.

      I’m beyond trusting any employer again, unless I have a gun to put to their head.

    • vincent_t

      No, it is the Chinese system to be blamed. it allows the
      greedy unethical business owners exploit the workers. Foreign companies do the same thing too, especially those SME that
      know they can get away quietly since they are not monitored like those public listed companies. 1 good example was this
      Belgian company my friend worked for, they stop paying the workers for few months, did not clear the account payable whole year, then pulled out the expats and declared bankruptcy suddenly. Those expats, including my friends got the compensation because the contract signed was based on Belgian labor law, but things are horrible for the local workers.

      • Jahar

        Thank god they helped the party get into power to stop all this.

  • bujiebuke

    It’s unfortunate that low-income workers are forced to resolve disputes by committing extreme acts of violence (unto other or themselves) and at the same time value their own lives for so little.

  • Another “realist”

    They are weak and docile, since they don’t stand up and fight for themselves. They cannot unite and use their number as leverage, because all organizations other the ones from the Party are forbidden. That’s why each and everyone of them are all on their own and get abused.

  • Xia

    Where they are from, they don’t get a job there. Anywhere else, they could be target of abuse.

    If they were to demolish things, they’d find themselves beaten up or in prison on charges of vandalism. Apparently, law in China works for anyone who know somebody and has a deaf ear to all the nobodies.

  • her blood is on all of our hands

    • biggj

      What?? My hands????holy fuck…I had no idea I had a part in this. I better come up with an alibi.

      No really, how is this on our hands?

  • biggj

    News flash. Shit just got real.

    ISIS is going to kill 2 Japanese hostages if they dont pay $200,000,000.

    CS you need to run this story. The comments from the chinese will be priceless.


    This is the wet dream of stories. You got ISIS/Islam which everyone hates now. You got Japanese getting killed, which china loves. This story would blow the comments section right apart.

    • Boris

      But is it big news in China?

      Maybe it will be big news in Japan and we will see it on JC, CS’s sister site.

      ISIS really needs to be stopped.

      Why doesn’t the US and the West learn, don’t arm fanatics (Taliban/AQ to fight Russia, ISIS to fight Asad) to fight your battles, they end up turning and need to be stopped themselves.

      • Alex Dương

        Because too many idiots in power naively think the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

        • biggj

          See man? The comments are already coming in. lol

          • Alex Dương


            Seriously though, we should not be allying with anyone in Syria. We really didn’t learn anything from our experiences in next door Lebanon back in the 80s.

          • biggj

            Well history just repeats itself. Same game, different players….and sometimes its the same players different game.

          • You forget the most important part BiggJ:
            the same guys behind the scenes are taking their pound of flesh at the expense of everyone else.

            WAR IS A RACKET by Smedley Butler. If you don’t know him, please check it out. He is One of the most decorated US Marines; awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor Twice (and not posthumously!)

            In 1933, Butler was approached to lead a coup by Prescott Bush (Father and Grandfather of the two future US Presidents- hopefully not a 3rd) to overthrow the US Government and turn it into a fascist state similar to Nazi Germany at the time.


          • Boris

            And Libya isn’t working out great either. But everyone has forgotten about that.

          • Alex Dương

            Libya was stupid for multiple reasons. We keep reinforcing the very bad message we sent to the world after Iraq: fail to arm yourself with weapons of mass destruction, and we will invade you; arm yourself with weapons of mass destruction like North Korea, and we will leave you alone. And as I recall, each Tomahawk missile we fired cost $1 million. Waste of money.

          • biggj

            You should watch this.

            Shows how much the US spends

            $250,000 a minute….every minute…for 13 years.

          • Kai

            LoL. Quick search and the articles that have come up on major portals don’t have any comments on them. One microblog post on Weibo is at #4 but the actual metrics (number of comments, reshares, upvotes) aren’t particularly high.

            It’s important that the microblog post is there, because it suggests there’s no general censorship about the topic. That the story can be found but there isn’t much reaction so far may mean we need just need to wait or that Chinese netizens generally just aren’t really paying too much attention to it.

            I suppose I might translate it anyway, even if it isn’t a huge topic on the Chinese internet.

        • David

          That shows an incredible lack of knowledge of international power on your part. But that is not a put down, it actually describes 99.99% of people. BTW I am not excluding myself from that category. While I used to study it, I have not been privileged to the necessary intelligence for more than 25 years.

          • Alex Dương

            I’d like to read your thoughts on the examples given (i.e. Mujahideen in Afghanistan / “rebel” groups in Syria).

          • David

            We can all have ‘thoughts’ (that is the nice thing about democracy) and I am happy to see people put up opinions but while I was in the U.S. military at the time this was happening and I was in Asia during some of it I was not privy to all of the talks and intelligence briefings (in fact very few). I prefer not to post my ignorance on-line. I know just enough to know I don’t know enough. I am sorry if that does not satisfy you.

          • Alex Dương

            Your point is well taken that obviously, I do not know what U.S. intelligence officers know. If your contention is that I should not call them idiots when I don’t know what they know, rebuke accepted.

            But you doubtless know that there are at least several instances where “enemy of my enemy is my friend” didn’t work out. The Mujahideen / Taliban was already mentioned as an example. Another that immediately comes to mind is Saddam. We backed Iraq in the 1980s against post-Islamic Revolution Iran.

            Now we’re backing rebel groups in Syria. Granted, Syria is not Lebanon, but they’re related, neighboring countries. Given how ridiculously complex the Lebanese Civil War was and how loyalties constantly changed, should we really be confident that who we pick won’t turn on us later or won’t do “something” that causes us to turn on them (e.g. Ngo Dinh Diem)?

            True, I don’t know what the intelligence community knows. But our track record of picking “friends” like these is kinda spotty.

          • David

            Actually I think I was too harsh in my initial comment (or it came off as too harsh, it was not meant to be), please do call them idiots if that is what you think. I am all for calling people in power idiots and it should be done often (even if I think you are dead wrong about WHY they are idiots). I think why I think they are idiots and why YOU say they are idiots is just different but I am a big believer in freedom of speech.

            I will just say this (because I don’t want to get into a long drawn out discussion where it is just us giving opinions). In international politics on the macro level (i.e. military decisions, diplomacy and economic decisions) It is very rarely a choice between good and bad. It is most often a choice between bad and worse. Also, a decision that is good for our country in 40 or 50 years in the future is often not the same as what is good for our country in 5 or 10 years and the choice must be made of which to pursue. Finally, since we do not live in a perfect world big decisions are made by many leaders and implemented by many other people to different levels of efficiency. They seldom have the desired result even when the initial decision and planning was good. This is way ore than I wanted to say.

          • Alex Dương

            No, don’t worry, I didn’t read your comment as too harsh. And thanks for your reply; I think I got what I asked for :)

      • biggj

        Well it could be big new in china. I can see this getting talked about in china just because something bad is happening to japanese people. If the hostages were china for sure right…but still a good chance this could get popular in china, Kind of like how some muslims killing french people is popular in china…Has nothing to do with china…well unless you count china actually supplying the weapons.. lol

        But either way, they pay isis 200,000,000 ( not likely to happen), and china will complain how much a japanese life is worth and say if that was chinese isis would only want a bag of rice and and Jacky Chan VHS tapes….or some shit like that. And if they kill them…well china will like that. So they will talk about it.

  • Teacher in China

    I don’t think any of those suggestions will work here in China. You’d find yourself surrounded by a group of hired (by the company) thugs ready to beat you to death, or hauled off to the police station because the boss is well-connected enough to cause you problems. You might even have the thugs/police knocking down your front door and beating everyone in your family, kids included. It’s a lot trickier a situation than you’re acknowledging.

    • realist

      Well, I admit I don’t know too much of the situation in China but I’d say then cut the work short. Ask for pay after 1 week, or even ask for daily pay. If you can’t get it, stand outside their gate and make sure that anyone here to replace your team knows that your team quit because they can’t pay. It’s not like they can get it done for cheaper elsewhere so I’m thinking they’ll eventually buckle. But at the end of the day, I’m not too familiar with the social situation over there nor is it my responsibility to find them a solid solution. I can only reiterate this: everywhere in the world, people will take advantage of those who cannot defend themselves. If you don’t have a plan to cover your ass in case the deal goes south, then don’t make the deal.

      • Xia

        If you cut the work short, then another poor guy with a similar background as you will jump in and gladly take your spot. And you are again jobless and without your pay.

        • actionjksn

          I work in construction is the US. The way you’re supposed to do it is there should be a contract that outlines the pay draws to the general contractor. There should be several draws [payments] made on a big job like this, and whoever is the general contractor then makes weekly or bi weekly payments to the hourly workers. The contractor gets his money less frequently but make more money for assuming the risk. If they didn’t arrange this in advance then they were all pretty ignorant about this.

      • Miniluv101

        Let me guess, you’re a liberal? You believe that by incentive and will alone these people can change a system designed against them? A system supported by the very state that is supposed to serve their interests, to protect their right to the value of their labour?

        No chance, you need to organize, and it’s gotta go beyond labour unions.

  • Cynic-Al

    I agree, you’d think that a worker wouldn’t take a job while others haven’t been paid. This might be one of the effects of “we have too many people,” you hear tossed about quite frequently in China. There is always someone willing to take a job. Even if, counter-intuitively, that means being unpaid for a long spell.

    There was just a taxi strike in my city, and while the strike was in progress I counted 23 taxis pass my house in 3 minutes while they were supposed to be on strike. Too many opportunists. “I’ll let the other guys strike while I can make some good money.”

    Whether it’s ‘need’ or ‘greed’ it seems workers won’t stand up for their rights until it’s too late.

    • realist

      Well, if the dude worked for 3 years without pay, looks like he’s one of those opportunists you speak of who took a huge gamble, making it impossible for other workers to gain fair leverage on the boss. In that case, let him reap his just desserts.

  • Kai

    Here are some more details from a subsequent report published a day later combining mutltiple other reports from The Beijing News, Xinhua, etc.:


    1. The girl may be 14 and jumped from the 17th floor.

    2. She actually fell onto the air cushion but eventually still perished.

    3. Her father was the labor contractor. He’s from Bazhong city in Sichuan province. Beginning in 2012, he brought over 100 people from his hometown to work on this construction project. It was completed in mid-2014, but the developer still owed them over 900k in unpaid wages.

    4. The workers went to him for their pay and, without a choice, he brought them to the developer to demand their pay.

    5. The father’s cousin explained that the girl wanted to go with her parents to demand the money after hearing the family planning to do so early in the morning.

    6. The cousin sounds like she was with the grandmother and daughter on the building. She says upon seeing the grandmother and daughter become impulsive, she managed to grab/stop the grandmother but without anyone else to grab the daughter, the daughter jumped off.

    • David


    • realist

      Kids these days, she was probably like, “What!? You grabbed grandma but not me? I’ll show you to get your priorities tangled, bitch,” and jumped. Still the father’s fault he allowed them to come. Shit, if he were drafted into the military, would he allow them to come too?

  • biggj

    Why would cs run a story about islamic extremist killing french people in france. That has nothing to do with china. It does not matter what the story is….as long as chinese talk about it and find it interesting.

  • Thor

    I don’t get it. I just can’t figure out the connection between the father not being paid for years (what a sheep) and his daughter jumping off a building ??? WTF ?

    • Kai

      It’s pretty much the same thing as someone threatening to kill themselves if you break up with them. Or Tibetans self-immolating in protest.


      The implication is that the grandmother and daughter witnessed the developer refusing to do right by the migrant workers, for which their father is the lead representative. Seeing this, they decided they would try to compel the developer to pay up by threatening to commit suicide if the developer doesn’t. A suicide happening would attract the attention of authorities and the media, causing trouble for the developer. It’s basically: “either pay us or we’re going to make trouble for you”.

      People can become irrational and desperate in situations like these. She did something rash in the heat of the moment, but ostensibly with the noble intention of trying to help her family. She martyred herself.

      It’s probably also a bit unfair to denigrate the father as “a sheep”. Employers being in arrears or sometimes outright stiffing employees isn’t a terribly unusual phenomenon in construction in China (or elsewhere).

  • Foreign Devil

    Here’s an idea. . as soon as you miss a paycheck. . stop working! WHy do these people work for months and months without getting paid? Modern day slavery.

  • Foreign Devil

    Part of the problem is the Chinese legality of paying wages monthly. This is done even for office workers. So for construction you can hire 50 guys. . have them work for a month and then not pay them. . .half of them will leave. . but you still got 50 men + 1 month free labor.

  • actionjksn

    In the USA, if somebody refuses to pay you for construction work, you can put a lien on the home or other building. If you hold a lien on something they can not sell it without paying you. The owner of the building will then typically make them pay you.

    • realist

      Could you still do that if you were an illegal alien who they grabbed from the outside of Home Depot?

      • actionjksn

        If you’re an illegal alien, then you need to get the fuck out of MY country, go back to your country and quit driving down wages in my trade. Which by the way is construction and I’ve watched these illegals devastate the pay here in framing, drywall, roofing and a bunch of other things. Also the people in this story are migrants from another province of China, not illegal aliens.

        • realist

          But without a hukou, they essentially are illegal aliens in Beijing.

          • actionjksn

            That’s what happens when a country is run by commies. Freedom to move within your own country is a basic human right. I’ve never seen such a lack of personal freedom except in communist country’s, with the exception of maybe places with sharia law, that’s also always a big disaster for those not in power.

            My country may have its problems but I could walk out the door right now and travel 3000+ miles without notifying the government or anyone else, go to work the next day and it wouldn’t be a problem legally and I would have the same rights. That shouldn’t be a big deal but apparently it is in China. Our government wouldn’t even be allowed to make that law, even if they wanted to.

          • Kai

            Hukous have nothing to do with a country being run by commies. It has more to do with the distribution and availability of public resources. Democratic Taiwan has hukous too.

            An easy way to undertand hukous for many Americans (I don’t know if you are one but I hope this analogy still makes sense to you) is to think about public school districts. When I grew up, where you lived determined what school you could attend. People would shop for homes and consider the school district it was assigned to. If you lived in one school district, you couldn’t just go to a school in another school district just because you like it better. This is to prevent or at least discourage everyone from trying to go to the same place because it would overwhelm the available resources of that place.

          • realist

            Why do Americans love to tell people about “freedom” and “rights”? You don’t even know what you’re talking about. Freedom to move about in your own country is not a basic human right at all. Basic human rights cannot be taken from you under any circumstance; if you are convicted of a criminal act, you could lose your privilege to move even outside of your house or jail cell, and you may not have even committed the crime. What allows you to draw a line at the national border? Someone can say, “as a citizen of the world, it is my basic human right to travel the earth.” And then a million Mexicans come into the US and drive your construction prices down and now you’re all, “Dey duk r JOBZZ!!!” LOL As a side-note, it’s wonderful for the consumer. I had Mexicans assemble my race bikes, redo my bathroom, a Chinese guy fix my car, and I almost felt bad they didn’t charge more compared to the local businesses that wanted half my bank account and tax LOL. The only competitive local business I’ve seen is one where the owner hired exclusively Mexicans and I paid in cash, no receipt, no tax, and warranty by word of honor. Anyway, there are very very few things that qualify as basic human rights to the point where even the existence of it is questionable.

            Oh, look at the commies! So stupid and tyrannical! If they let you run China, you’d drive into the ground in a day. A know-it-all like you would say, “It’s a basic human right to move about your nation, so abolish hukou!” Next day, Beijing’s so flooded with people, you can’t walk. All the supermarkets are outta food and it’s impossible to get anywhere or do anything. Then you’d say, “Surely, having kids is a basic right; let people have as many kids as they like!” Then the population explodes and there’s not enough land or food and next thing you know, you’ve created the biggest illegal alien crisis in human history.

            The leadership of every country can only look at the situation, and make laws to ensure that everything works. Within that limit, “rights” and “freedoms” (or more accurately, privileges) are afforded to the citizens. There are no basic freedoms or human rights that must be granted if they come at a cost to the order of the nation. Think it sounds fascist? What do they do to you if you murder someone in Texas? They take away your “inalienable right” to live, which if it was actually an inalienable right, should not be legally taken from you in any circumstance. This is not to mention that you may have been wrongfully convicted. Simply put, America gives you a few more privileges than some other nations (and less than some others) and because of this, they want you to believe that those nations that allow less privileges are barbaric, uncivilized, and have no respect for your basic rights while any country that offers more (such as right to free education, right to put whatever you want in your own body such as marijuana and alcohol, right to life despite criminal acts), is just adding little insignificant things. But America protects just the right amount of your rights.

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