Much ink has been spilled (or pixels have been illuminated) about China’s post-80s generation, but it’s the post-90s who might prove to be the most controversial. It’s hard to believe, but those born in the early 1990s are already in their 20s, or approaching them quickly, and they grew up in a much different society than even their post-80s counterparts.
A case-in-point is the story below, which was found in the Sanxiang City News and translated by @MissXQ (Twitter, Weibo, blog). A couple, both of whom were born in the 1990s, sold all three of their children for cash so they could afford to play online games at internet cafes. The story is resonating in China because it deals with changing attitudes towards sex, money, and responsibility by China’s youth.
Here is the story, translated from Chinese:
Chinese parents born after 1990 (known as post-90s) sold three children for money over three years. When asked whether they missed their kids, they said: “We don’t want to raise them, we just want to sell them for some money.” What do they want the money for? To spend it on computer games in internet cafés.
Li Lin, the father, was born on March 12, 1991 in Yongzhou. Li’s dad died 18 months later. Li quit school when he was 13 years old and followed his mom to Huizhou in Guangdong Province, where she found work as a migrant worker.
That’s where Li Lin met Li Juan in an internet café in 2007. Li Juan was 15 years old at the time and had sex the day after they met. Li Lin and Li Juan both quit their jobs and moved in together. In 2008, they had their first son. Both of them were obsessed with playing online games, so several days after they had their son, they left the child at home and traveled 30 kilometres to an internet cafe to play online games.
Li Lin and Li Juan then moved to Dongguan while Li Lin’s mom took care of their son. Life didn’t change much in those days; they still hungout in internet cafes most of the time.
In 2009, they had their second child, a baby girl. Li Lin and Li Juan sold the girl for RMB 3,000 and spent the entire sum shortly thereafter. After selling their daughter, the young parents sold their son for RMB 30, 000 and then their third child, a baby boy, also for RMB 30,000 in Huizhou.
Li Lin’s mom, the grandmother of their three children, brought the young parents to the local police department after she learned they had been sold. The police were stunned that they had sold their own children and had no remorse. They weren’t even aware that it violated the law.