SHANGHAI, CHINA:  A disabled beggar begs for alms from passersby along a street in downtown Shanghai, 30 October 2003. China's official GDP growth of 8.5 percent in the first three quarters of the year is reliable, the National Bureau of Statistics said 30 October, rejecting speculation growth is more like 10 percent.    AFP PHOTO/LIU Jin  (Photo credit should read LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Slumdogs in China’s Sin City

No Hollywood ending in sight for China's street kids, who are disabled by their beggar pimps

Gangs in China’s “Sin City” are forcing children to work the streets. Like the hungry, grimy Indian tots in the Slumdog Millionaire film, some of the least fortunate victims are mutilated to maximize sympathy and drive up the profits for their handlers.

A South China Morning Post article reports that the criminal organizations, or “beggar gangs,” keep the children in captivity, provide just enough food to keep them alive and take any money they make begging during their workdays. The article cites an investigative report done by Phoenix TV, a satellite TV network based in Hong Kong.

Uploaded By: 凤凰卫视官方社会频道 | iFengSocial Official Channel

Wang Xiuyong, who was close to the head of one of the beggar gangs, spoke with Phoenix TV. Wang explained that most of the beggars were disabled children—many limbless or suffering from gruesome wounds—who had been stolen, kidnapped and even “rented” from their hometowns.

“In some cases, gang members would deliberately disable healthy children,” Wang said. “The more severely handicapped they are, the more valuable they are.”

The images are reminiscent of a scene from the Slumdog Millionaire in which a gang blinds a young boy. As the above reports claim, a crippled child would “elicit more sympathy from passers-by” (and, one would assume, money) than a healthy one.

(Phoenix TV)

This sad reality has gone viral in the past week on Sina Weibo, one of China’s leading social networks, where the term “Dongguan Beggars” became one of the most discussed topics. The industrial city of Dongguan has earned a reputation as the sex capital of China, and has made headlines in recent weeks following increasing police crackdowns on that industry. Another, perhaps darker, side of its underbelly now includes young children, and online commentators are asking why the police are failing to crack down on this even more sinister menace.

“Punish those bastards. …I hope [the case] will get the same attention as the Anti-Vice,” user Tian Lan Ruo Kong-Hui posted on March 18. “Anti-Vice” is a reference to the Dongguan Sin City police crackdown.

“You [authorities] have the time [to take care of Dongguan’s] Anti-Vice. Why don’t you have time to take care of these matters?” posted user FoTail on March 18.

“[As for] normal begging, the government should not interfere. But [in cases] such as children-renting, beating [to] disability, forced begging, etc., it cannot be regarded as [a normal] ‘beggar’s’ issue. In particular…children with disabilities… The police should be more proactive,” posted user Xiao Da Da Xiao Da on March 18. The technology found many other posts very similar to this one.

The original Sina Weibo post by user Phoenix Video (below) that contained a link to the video story was shared more than 30,000 times and sparked more than 8,000 discussions.


Respond Now
  • They need to round up every member of these gangs, cripple and blind them and then throw them back out on the streets.  Let the punishment fit the crime.

  • Obama is doing the same thing to our citizens.

    2 Replies - Reply Now
    • That is not true you fool! Last time I looked, the President is not the only one in Washinton! He has a group of people he works with and they are called the US congress! They get the last say on everything!  I wonder why people like you never complain about them? BTW…..Our poor is way better off then these poor children! You can’t compare apples and oranges!  I’m sure these Chinese homeless children would love to trade places with the spoiled brats here in the US who only worry about texting, Facebook, their iPhones, going to the mall, skipping school,etc etc. Question, did you protest against Bush when he was committing war crimes and sending our troops to fight for oil on two different battle fronts?  Did you protest when innocent women and children die in Drone attacks? NOPE! The whole US government is corrupt and shoulders the blame for the dangerous path of destruction it is taking and it didn’t start with Obama! 

      1 Reply - Reply Now
      • I dont completely disagree with you. But have you seen our gas prices? We in no way recieved oil for the war. War for oil was a mindless chant that came out for people to make signs and feel important while remaining vastly uneducated. Our soldiers werent killing kids…those kids were dead the second they had a bomb strapped to them anx thrown at our troops.

        1 Reply - Reply Now
      • Gas prices in America compared to other countries are night and day.  Have you seen what they are in Europe?  If you know for a fact that oil had nothing to do with the war… please… tell us all what Iraq was about?  Please tell me why dessert storm took place when genocide is taking place right now as we speak in other 3rd world countries 10 fold what took place in Kuwait.  Everyone who complains about “obama Obama is the reason why”  I would love to sit down and ask them about anyone in either the US Senates office or congress.  For god’s sake people we use the word democracy when we explain about how great of a place this country is and then when we explain what’s wrong with it we revert to making it sound as though we are a dictatorship!?

    • Absolutely. I’ve personally witnessed Obama break open a child like an egg and drink its vital fluids.Oh wait, no I haven’t. But at least that is somewhat less stupid than your claim.

  • Deliberately disabling children…Is there no limit to the cruelty?I wish there were a heaven, for the victims, after such a hard life. 

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • there is

  • I just hope the authorities aren’t “in on it”

  •  I hope the authorities catch the criminals doing this and lock them into an iron masque

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