Story By: John Feng, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Asia Wire Report
Video Credit: AsiaWire
Chinese children are reporting their own parents to the police in an attempt to stop them from gambling on mahjong in large groups amid the spread of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.
According to officials in the city of Meishan, in south-western China’s Sichuan Province, one woman called the cops after her mum and dad left home to play mahjong on 25th January.
It spawned a hashtag – now viewed more than 360 million times – reading ‘woman reports parents who leave home to gamble’.
The four-player tile game mahjong remains hugely popular among senior members of the public who are reportedly ignoring official warnings to stay at home to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Local official Yang Ke reported that the woman’s parents were found gambling on mahjong at a teahouse, which had previously been ordered to cease operations in a government bid to dissuade large group activities.
Mahjong, among other activities such as wedding banquets, has been temporarily outlawed as the Wuhan coronavirus death toll climbs to 170, with more than 7,700 infected in mainland China.
Mr Yang told local media: “After the daughter reported that her mother and father had gone out to gamble, we immediately sent a team to find them.
“We once again remind our senior citizens not to leave their residences during the Chinese New Year period.
“Don’t visit relatives, and don’t attend family gatherings.
“We urge members of the public to report any gambling or other group activities.”
The unnamed Meishan City resident is reportedly among countless concerned children who have taken to calling the police – or threatening to do so – as a way to keep their restless parents at home.
To dissuade large group gatherings, police in Ma’anshan, a city in East China’s Anhui Province, raided a mahjong gathering and smashed tile tables with axes on 28th January, footage shows.
The Huyang Police Station says it destroyed 16 mahjong tables during the raid and dispersed the crowd of gamblers.
Similar raids are taking place across China, where the coronavirus has reached every one of its provinces and regions, including Tibet in the south-west.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.