8-Year-Old Schoolgirl’s Money Making Schemes, Reactions

From NetEase:

Gosh! My 8-year-old daughter is making money at school???

Noon today, when my daughter came home from school her mouth was red and swollen. When I asked, she said it was from eating ma la tang[a Chinese type of spicy soup]. This led me to discovering 8 yuan in her pocket, and I asked her where the money came from. She refused to say, so I went to school in the afternoon to investigate. To my astonishment, she’s making money from her classmates! How was she doing it??? Well, many of her classmates bring comics to school and are afraid of teachers’ inspections, so she keeps the comics for them, 5 jiao each time. Also, other students pay to use her pencil sharpener. The first two times are free, she charges 5 jiao from the third time and 5 jiao extra from the 6th time. In addition, I found a little notebook under her pillow tonight, with a list of people that owe her money written inside. Faint

Had a talk with her tonight, told her that her responsibility right now is to study, and that friendship between classmates is priceless. Most importantly, it’s wrong to help others break school rules for money, because when she becomes a part of society she might break the law for money. (It’s the same thing, a set of rules that must be obeyed). The consequence to breaking the law is to lose life’s most precious freedom.

The child is asleep, but I can’t fall asleep (because in life I always like to help friends. But my daughter…), so here I am on the discussion forum, hoping to hear everyone’s thoughts. Thanks.

Note: The image above is not related to the above BBS post.

Comments from NetEase


That’s right, don’t jump to blame her. You must carefully educate her, using the right methods.


[She] has such an economic mindset. I’m in awe.


Impressive, an 8-year-old kid!!


I think the first commenter is only half right. If we were in another country, he would be correct. But in this country, peoples’ connections are very complicated, and we have to use Chinese-style education to teach kids. (There’s a popular saying here in Guangdong: Personal favors/relationships are bigger than debt.)


[Her] parents work for China Mobile? [known for monopolistic, excessive pricing policy]


I was good at drawing as a kid. When I was young, I drew sketches of Transformers, and other cartoon characters for other kids. 1 jiao per sketch, or trade for candy or toys. 1 jiao 20 years ago. I even gave discounts on large orders. Back then my orders numbered in the dozens. Then my mother found out, got a long talk, and I never dared to do it again.


Very good, already studying for MBA at such a young age.


[in response to 永勿] You’re simply talking nonsense, Chinese entrepreneurs are all like this??? Genius??? You would not only fail to educate the child but also allow her to continue her behavior?! What kind of people are you!!!! Is money your god??? If she keeps on doing this in the long term, she won’t have real friends. One day, when she needs help, other people would use money to do business with her as well. Unfortunately, sometimes even money wouldn’t be able to help her. For example, she falls into a river, or a ditch…even if she is a billionaire it would be in vain!!!!


[in response to 永勿] I rather agree with this kind of thinking, it is much better than those kids who only know how to beg their parents for money. As long as she knows to keep within certain limits.
After all, society is practical.


In China, favors and guanxi [connections] are sometimes much more important than money.


Don’t always talk about society being corrupt. [You guys] don’t know know to start with yourselves to change it? Always blaming society like this is all an excuse. If we can educate the next generation properly, even if society is corrupt right now, wouldn’t the next generation be good? The key problem is adults themselves, who say one thing and do another, all excessively selfish, all wishing everybody else were good-hearted, and only oneself was bad/manipulative. What kind of mentality is that?


Faint, you should carefully reflect on yourself. Did the child learn this from you??


Your daughter is not bad! Really not bad! [She] should be nurtured!
What studying! You should know that’s for fools! What’s a so-called degree for?

Making money in the future! The diploma is just a long-term food stamp.
As for studying, the process is more important! Use the microcosm of school society to feel and understand the relationships between people!

You should educate and nurture your child!

Noon today, when my daughter came home from school her mouth was red and swollen. When I asked, she said it was from eating spicy soup. This led me to discovering 8 yuan in her pocket, and I asked her where the money came from. She refused to say, so I went to school in the afternoon to investigate. To my astonishment, she’s making money from her classmates! How was she doing it??? Well, many of her classmates bring comics to school and are afraid of teachers’ inspections, so she keeps the comics for them, 5 jiao each time. Also, other students pay to use her pencil sharpener. The first two times are free, she charges 5 jiao from the third time and 5 jiao extra from the 6th time. In addition, I found a little notebook under her pillow tonight, with a list of people that owe her money written inside. Faint

This part? 1. Is the ma la tang clean? Careful she could be contracted with hepatitis! Usually these little food stalls around schools are not very sanitary!
2. Keeping comics for others! Why can she keep them? What will happen if the teacher catches her? Ask her what if others asked for damages [if the comics are confiscated]? Even though it’s not a lot of money, see how she answers! Or what if others are jealous of her business and report to the teacher! Even if it’s a child’s world and there’s no morals and laws, you need to nurture her in this respect! Ask her, see her explanations and problem-solving ideas. If they’re appropriate, let her be. Otherwise correct her!
3. As for the pencil sharpener, I think it’s a great idea! This is a legit business, you can let her continue! I think it helps the child, it’s very good!
4. The notebook issue! There’s nothing wrong with this either! But you need to ask her what she would do if others didn’t refused to pay her. Ask her, how would you hanle this? See her explanations! This too is very important!

Also, you should nurture a saving habit in your child! Take her earnings and open a bank account for her! Always take her to go save her money!
Don’t let her develop a reckless spending habit! Teach her! Then buy some useful stuff for her to use!
Don’t let her spend it all on food and drinks!

You have to discuss! Discuss like friends! Do not scold!

Treating your child this way will help her even more!

As for this hindering her studies, that’s not necessarily true. Look at her grades and performance in school. And don’t think being successful means being first at exams! This kind of mentality is mistaken! It hinders the child!

Getting into university, grad school, getting a doctorate!!! Actually, the final goal is still money!

Of course, going to school itself is a process to understand society and develop maturity!


Guide her appropriately, you should instill in her that friendship cannot be traded for with money.


No big deal, I wrote homework for others for money! Parents didn’t give me allowance, so I made it myself, and it felt good spending it!


[in response to 风动心静] You’re right, but think about it. Nowadays, is there still real friendship between students? Even the best friends will argue and fight because of money and advantages. Today’s society has created too many problems! But all in all, money can’t buy friendship. It can only buy alliances. This kind of alliance, you can’t depend on!

Alliances. chinaSMACK personals.

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  • 傻子

    I WIN! I WIN!

    this is why i’m hot. uh, yeah.

  • cmfeirs

    “The consequence to breaking the law is to lose life’s most precious freedom.” what a stupid chinese statement. you live in a capitalistic economy. yes, your government calls it socialsim with chinese characteristics, but it is capitalism. you have 2 choices: 1) stay a slave and let your low wages and long hours without any labor laws from the government to protect you dictate your future as a link in the chain while others get rich, or 2) let your daughter take advantage of the corrupt assholes runnign your country and find a way t beat them so the real peasant revolt can take place. the stupidity of the chinese has just gotten to be too much.

    • 先生

      It may be “low wage” but it is honest, and don’t ever, EVER mix money with friendship.

      • InstantNoodles

        Depends on how the girl is. I’ve had girls in class who did similar things back in elementary. But when you need other help, like school chores or homework questions, one girl in particular would still freely help you. She played with other kids well, knew how to share (food, snacks, toys, etc), and everyone got alone quite well.

        There are some other girls who gossip behind other kids constantly, and are generally unhelpful even if they are able to. They never lent out stuff for money, yet most other kids didn’t like them as well.

    • bluah

      The consequence to breaking the law is to lose life’s most precious freedom.

      The consequence of being unharmonious might lead to the loss of life’s most precious: freedom.

      but it is capitalism.

      I beg to differ, the market could be more free, the protection of property better…

    • Bo

      “Break law, go to jail” is a stupid statement?

  • Back in school I used my little Swiss Army knife to sharpen my pencils. Back then, stabbings and other extreme school violence are unheard of in Korea so none of the teachers ever had a problem with it.

    The knife was very important to me because I had a fear of DPRK paratroopers landing at my school like at the start of Red Dawn. The plan was to run up to one of them screaming “HORRAY! SOCIALIST LIBERATORS!” and opening up my arms like I wanted to hug him before jamming the knife into the left side of his chest between the 3rd and 4th rib, grabbing his AK and mowing down his shocked comrades.

    • PP is my new god.

    • Jay K

      you are badd ass sir pusan playa, jsut absolute bad ass!

  • Joe

    the next warren buffett

  • gump27

    I wish adopted her as my kid.

  • Really for this no need to overact. just take it easy even thy should support her for her creativity, coz if her parents will take it negative then she is gonna lost some where…

  • ST

    I remember a friend bringing bags of small vitamins, that he had scrubbed the tiny painted logo off of, and selling them as “drugs” to fellow middle school students for $0.25 each. My buddies and I grabbed a stack of porn magazines from outside a bookstand one morning (we had snuck ou tof our houses to meet up and waited in the bushes from about 3am for the delivery truck) and sold them for $1 each at our middle school.

  • Bill Rich

    Finally, the pure capitalism education is now completed in China.

  • BlairGreasely

    Hah. It’s true what they say, they really are all born and bred whores.

    Good training for adult life, mamasan trained her well.

    Malatang? Haha. She’s good at lying too, but how’s she gonna get a Dr to treat the herpes / gonnorhea on her mouth? Maybe her gem in the rear chamber is still clean?

    Anyhow the kid in the pic looks cute, I’d throw her a few jiao

  • LaowaiChou (formerly Of Canada)


    I’ve never heard of Mala tang making your mouth swollen. I don’t even think it would stain your mouth red.

  • HollandiaChinese

    Chinese parents always tend to react so exaggerated and..whats the right word…so morally in a forced way. i think chinese propagenda got their minds so much.
    yes indeed friendship in priceless, especially around that age. and greed may turn into lawbreaking when they grow older. BUT you cant ignore the smart and economic thinking of that girl. which are good attributes to have. a girl with those competence at such young age should be considerd a good thing. instead of simply forbidding it is just stupid and lacks parent-child insight. instead it should be trained and push those things into something much better.
    by simply forbidding and punishing those things is a waste of entrepreneurial and management talent.

  • That is pretty incredible. I wonder if she learned this from someone else – school, extended family, TV?

    • jack butcher

      she can invent it , demand make people to invent. kids are full of creation.

  • HollandiaChinese

    Btw if you cant sleep cause your daughter is so smart she can make a buck for her own. than maybe your mind isnt ready for parenting at all.

  • Name (required)

    I think 50 cents for pencil sharpener is too much. 10 cents seems like a reasonable price.

  • bluah

    Ummm, may I ask what the spicy soup has to do with the story?

    • InstantNoodles

      Maybe the parent didn’t give the kid any money, and the soup isn’t on the school lunch manual. So when she said she had spicy soup, the parent started asking questions.

      • InstantNoodles

        damn I meant menu…

        (Not that many elementary schools have menus. You eat what they give you… Like egg and tomato soup with two dozen eggs in it, for the entire student population…)

    • Kai

      It’s what got the mom on the kid’s case. Ma La Tang, due to being spicy, does slightly inflame the lips, and it’s also possible the girl just didn’t wipe her mouth properly. The mom noticed and asked what’s up. The kid honestly replied that she had eaten Ma La Tang, which then probably prompted the mother to wonder where she got the money to go buy Ma La Tang for herself during lunch. She discovered the pocket money the kid had, asked where the kid got her money, and the kid told her. Hence, this post.

      • blaeh

        Now that’s the real issue! Where would we end up if every kid could just like that buy food for itself just because it feels like it, is hungry? Shame on this kid!

        • InstantNoodles

          The point is the parent probably never gave this girl any money. Then when she goes and buy food, of course the parent is going to wonder where the money came from.

    • Alikese

      I could be completely wrong, but I thought the girl kept the cartoons in her desk for other students, and got in trouble with the teacher who smacked her in the mouth. Then to try to explain it away she said she had spicy soup.

  • InstantNoodles

    Man LZ is so late to the train. When I was in elementary, several girls in class lent out stationery for small amounts of cash. If the borrower doesn’t pay on time, they charge interest.

    One girl mastered faking signatures. She used to charge for faking other kid’s parents’ signatures.

    • haha no

      One girl mastered faking signatures. She used to charge for faking other kid’s parents’ signatures.

      thats fantastic, Im gonna teach my kid that :-D could always do with a second income around here. haha

  • HaamSapTjai

    well at least she isn’t performing any sexual services for money. Or assignments like programming in C.
    And regarding the spicy soup, probably some classmates were betting that she couldn’t drink the spicy soup in one go while it is still hot, but she proved them wrong!

  • huh?

    when he first mentioned her lips were red and swollen I immediately thought she was giving blow jobs for money

    • Alikese

      Then her dad would have been sleeping soundly…

  • Scott

    Congratulatiions to the girl and sad for her mother who is trapped in tradition. Sad for China too.

    I like szxs1979’s answer because it encourages the girl to think, which is rather rare in Chinese education.

    And guanxi more important than money or debt? I could agree with that, but business does not preclude friends.

    Unfortunately in China guanxi also seems to be more important than talent/skill or thinking or hard work. Some of my Univ students do not feel a need to work because their parents or friends will give them a job someday. Companies that hire based largely or entirely on guanxi will not compete with the West.

    Please do not misunderstand the comment above about guanxi. Chinese people work incredibly hard, but hard work combined with thinking would be WOW! Cheap labor will not be here forever.

    And use traditional Chinese education? right? Just do as you are told. Who needs thinking, or Nobel prizes, or creativity? Not China, because the West has plenty??? :)

    For some Chinese thoughts on traditional education here see:




  • manusan

    very good adaptation of social environnement.

  • John

    I have tough students for couple of years. Some students have very different ideas in terms of valuing money; very Obsessed with money. But I never saw a kid taking a risk to get punishment for the money. Breaking rule and friendship are another issues, but she has realize importance of well-being.
    you should talk to her how valuable her to you and your family.

  • Xav

    wait you can’t be serious! since when being rotten to the core by materialism is a good thing?
    she’s asking cash for what should me free! I understand the mother, I’d be worried as well. such behaviours shouldn’t be encourage.

    • haha no

      damn right Xav

      next time i get on a bus i will say, hay you materialistic pig, this should be free, im not paying for this.

      uummm, no wait a min, If we didnt earn money how the hell could we eat or do anything? im sure you are not using a computer to write this post on,, oh wait, maybe you are, did you pay for it? or go to an internet cafe? if the latter did they charge you? Xav do you get everything for free or do you have a job?

      Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
      if people are willing to pay to use a pencil sharpener, and pay 5 jiao, then why not.

      holding on to something, well, i think every one breaks a few rules from time to time, ie: speeding, littering (specially here in china), smoking in places that have no smoking signs, ect ect.

      if my daughter came home and said she was doing this, i would sit down with her and go over her books, make sure its being done correctly and advise saving up and buying some other things she could rent out, ie umbrellas for when its raining, or 5 fen sweets to sell at 1 jiao.

      I would encourage entrepreneurial skills to develop, as it is something she is interested in, and learning skills at school is what school is all about. a different case if she was charging old women to help them take there shopping home.

  • 知音

    这个就叫聪明! 年小就知道应该独立,是一个很好的开始!谁管你小学人际关系好不好?反正长大了,他们都不跟你联咯了。孩子,有前途!

    • blaeh


  • Kimmie

    Omg, I did that during my primary school years too! I even bought cheap stuffs and sell them at higher prices to my classmates. Great minds think alike :P

  • Shanghairocks

    It’s really easy to spot a whore ..

  • ” when my daughter came home from school her mouth was red and swollen. When I asked, she said it was from eating ma la tang[a Chinese type of spicy soup]. ”

    DUDEEEEEE fuck me! when i read this part i thought that this 9 year old was doing BJ for money..

  • IndonnnnChinese

    impressive, such a sign of great capabilities in the future, but I agreed with the number 1 post, you have to educate her slowly & well.

  • lee

    This an fine example of the society nowadays

  • Scott

    trying to unsubscribe and the suggested way does not work.

    sorry to bother everyone with this post

  • scott

    sorry to bother you all. Am trying to unsubscribe and the official method isn’t working so thought that I would try a post with the pox below not checked

    [Note from Fauna: I have checked the subscriptions. Your email address is not included. Are you sure the official method did not work?]

  • too yellow

    Funny, I did the same think in middle school. Made 10 bucks from it, then my home room teach found out and stopped… I used to beat up ppl that don’t pay too, totally gangsta, when I think about it now. But it’s still better then bullies that just takes ppl’s lunch money.

  • Capitalist

    This girl is awesome, at this tender age, she already knows how to make money. She is business minded, full of entrepreneur and managerial potential. Her mother, rather than punishing her for making a few bucks, should encourage her to develop her ability fully. Never mind about friendship. Friendship will not feed her or make her money. She will have many friends when she becomes rich in the not too distant future. Poor people have few friends, whereas rich, sucessful people, friends flock and kowtow to them and cater to their every need. That is just the way the society is.

    • Haha

      You dont have to be heartless to be successful. Clearly these are words from someone who isn’t rich.

  • Zoen

    hahahaha….i am almost dead now… typical chinese blood….

  • Haha

    I think your daughter is very smart. She demonstrates what americans call a type of “street smart” Teach her morals and encourage her studying and she’ll go far in life.

    My parents were the best students in China, my dad graduated from Qinghua. My dad was salutatorian of his class yet when my parents came to America, they realized that being good at academics wasn’t the only ingredient to success. Your daughter demonstrates what my parents were missing.

  • that kids kinda cool i think its a great idea making money at school shes gonna be good at buisness when shes older!

  • Bill

    I’m just wondering where does your child learn such skills? Why she needs to make some quick money? Who told her that money is more important than school rules? When she started doing this? What does she do with the money?

    TV, movies, her classmates, family relatives, internet blogs, siblings, close friends, story books, cartoons, or parents?

    • Alice S

      I think some people are just like that.

  • Alice S

    I live in Auckland, New Zealand. When I was in Year 3, there was this girl who just immigrated from CH. Her father owned a $2 shop. He encouraged her to sell items @ school. I copied her & bought items from home to sell. I made money! I’m not sure if our activities are like what the people above did..

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