A teenage girl was forced to beg after dropping her 200 yuan (approximately $29) allowance, with the older woman who picked it up claiming that it was hers.
The incident reportedly occurred on the street in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province over the weekend.
A video of the incident, filmed by a male passerby, shows two teenage girls confronting the woman.
“Whoever picks up the money should own it,” the woman says, according to South China Morning Post, citing the news outlet Xiaoran Video.
“This is her money. We saw you pick it up from the road,” a friend of the girl responds.
After the woman refuses to return the money, the student gets down on her knees and tearfully begs for her allowance, which she later explained was her entire week’s allowance.
“It is so wrong for this old woman not to return the money,” the man filming the interaction can be heard saying.
The commotion caused pedestrians to intervene and help the girl get her money back from the woman.
“We saw you pick up the money,” the man filming tells the woman. “It is out of the question that you should not return it to the girl. Even if it’s 1,000 yuan, you still should give it back, 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 for me.”
She later explained that she is living with her grandmother while her parents work in another city.
The woman eventually gives in and returns the money to the pleading girl after more passersby gather to help the student.
The clip reportedly went viral, garnering over 25 million views on Weibo and more than 5 million views on Douyin.
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 thing would the girl have to do? I can’t imagine that. 200 yuan is a big amount for her. What a poor girl,” a commenter wrote.