Love (or in most cases, infatuation), makes people do crazy things! A 16-year-old girl from China found herself in serious trouble with her parents after it turns out she thieved 657,000 Yuan ($100,000 USD) to purchase presents and virtual goodies for her favorite live-streamers.
Xiao Ya was supposed to be studying in Canada, but instead, she was spending her time pining away for multiple handsome live-streamers. Via an app called Inke, the teenager purchased hundreds of digital presents like 0.1 yen flowers and 3350 yen ($510 USD) paradise islands. In many cases, live-streamers are popular, attractive young people who develop a following and fanbase, but will only personally speak to those who spend money showing their devotion.
For Xiao Ya, the thought of losing her one-on-one chat time with these men was unbearable. Hence, she kept shelling out money to keep the conversation going. First, she burned through her tuition money. When she ran out of that, the girl began charging her mother’s credit card.
While understandably angry, Xiao Ya’s mother also understands what drove her daughter to such desperate measures. She recognizes that her daughter is a shy introvert, who felt lonely and isolated whilst studying abroad in Canada.
Still, she says, “I was shocked when I found out my daughter had blown hundreds of thousands of yuan online.”
She also adds that her daughter seemed pretty unapologetic about everything, adding “my daughter told me: So what? Everyone else is doing it; even my classmate’s dad is in on the fun.”
Now, Xiao Ya’s family is still trying to get their money back. When Beijing MeeLive Network Technology refused to offer them a refund, the conflict went to court.
According to Beijing MeeLive’s lawyer, since the transactions were made overseas and in Xiao Ya’s mother’s name, it’s impossible for them to determine which charges were fraudulent or not.
Still, amidst other horror stories of kids tossing away their parents’ hard earned money, the company promised to implement more safety features to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. Inke is set to have “a manual supervision and evaluation system that can detect overspending within a certain time period.”
Still, for many households, the change may have come too late.
Via China Daily