A teenage girl was forced to beg after dropping her 200 yuan (about $29) allowance, while the elderly woman who collected it claimed it was hers.
The incident reportedly took place on the street in Guangzhou in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong over the weekend.
Video of the incident, filmed by a male passerby, shows two teenage girls confronting the woman.
“Whoever collects the money must own it,” says the woman South China Morning Mailciting the news outlet Xiaoran Video.
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“This is her money. We saw you pick it up off the road,” a friend of the girl said.
After the woman refuses to return the money, the student gets on her knees and tearfully begs for her pocket money, which she later explained was her entire weekly allowance.
“It’s so wrong of this old woman not to return the money,” you hear the man filming the interaction say.
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The commotion caused pedestrians to intervene and help the girl get her money back from the woman.
“We saw that you collected the money,” the man who is filming tells the woman. ‘There’s no way you won’t give it back to the girl. Even if it is 1,000 yuan, you still have to return it, not to mention 200 yuan.”
Another passerby suggests that the girl call her parents, to which she replies: “My parents don’t live with me. This money is very useful to me.”
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She later explained that she lives with her grandmother while her parents work in another city.
The woman finally gives in and returns the money to the begging girl after more passers-by gather to help the student.
The clip reportedly went viral and was viewed over 25 million times Weibo and over 5 million views Douyin.
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Many Chinese social media users condemned the woman for her actions, with one criticizing the woman for having “no conscience.”
“If the old woman had not returned the money, what extreme things would the girl have to do? I can’t imagine that. 200 yuan is a big amount for her. What a poor girl,” one commenter wrote.