A couple in eastern China has ignited a debate on social media after brutally punishing their son and posting the video online as a warning to other children.
In the video, the father from Taixing, Jiangsu province can be seen hitting his son on the back and buttocks with a bamboo stick.
The boy begged his father to stop, but to no avail.
According to Sina News, the boy was punished after allegedly stealing 7,000 yuan ($1,030) and spending it with friends in eight days.
The four-minute ordeal was recorded by his mother, who later shared it online because it could “teach other children a lesson.”
The scene ends with the boy’s grandmother intervening and taking the bamboo stick away.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
The father can also be seen walking towards a wall and crying out loud.
Viewers said that the boy was hit more than 100 times.
“That was not easy money! It didn’t fall from the sky! It was hard-earned cash,” the father said while hitting his son.
Netizens are divided on the matter, with some condemning the physical abuse.
“This is domestic violence.”
“How is the boy going to face his teachers and classmates after this? He’s not a small child.”
“Does anyone think this video should be deleted? How will children see adults in the future?”
Meanwhile, others expressed sympathy for the father’s actions but questioned the mother’s intentions.
“While the father hit his son many times, I could tell they were not hard. He knew what he was doing.”
“This father has been waiting for someone to stop him. After being stopped, it’s no longer about the 7,000 yuan. He cried after realizing ‘I just hit my son.’ I am a father. I understand this deeply.”
“The family was crying. This child must have made a very serious mistake. What I don’t understand is the mother who had to share it in public.”
Under Chinese law, the boy, whose age has not been determined, did not commit a criminal violation if he was under 16, according to prosecutor Li Ling at Taixing People’s Procuratorate.
Meanwhile, the father’s actions can be tried as domestic violence.
What do you think?