'Pay back triple': Chinese teen charges huge interest in rent loan to mother

‘Pay me back triple’: woman borrows US$2526 to pay her shop rent from her daughter who demands huge interest charges.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

It’s common for parents to lend their children money, but it’s far less common the other way round, especially for them to borrow from their teenage children.

A 35-year-old mother in China surnamed Zhao, borrowed 17,000 yuan (US$3,500) from her 14-year-old daughter to pay the rent for her shop, according to a video published on Douyin, China’s TikTok.

Zhao told the South China Morning Post that she and her husband work as fish sellers at a local wet market in Nantong, a city in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, where they live with their three children, two daughters and a son.

The woman was pleased to discover her daughter was so good at managing her money.
PHOTO: Douyin

On May 7, Zhao said, after paying the couple’s home mortgage in the morning, she did not have enough cash left to pay the annual 50,000 yuan (US$7,436) rent for their shop due that afternoon. She then asked her eldest daughter if she had any money she could lend her.

“She was initially reluctant to lend me the money, but she changed her mind after I promised to repay her double the amount when she grows up and plans to buy a house,” said Zhao. “She then said I had to repay triple the amount.”

Zhao said her daughter had saved the money she received during the last three Lunar New Year’s as lucky money and her pocket money. Zhao also pays her daughter for helping with household chores sometimes. For example, she pays her daughter 50 yuan (US$7.5) for washing the dishes.

“I knew she had money, but I had no idea that she had saved so much,” Zhao said. “I feel happy that she is already an excellent money manager.”

Besides her eldest daughter, Zhao said her second daughter also lent her a few thousand yuan.

Many of Zhao’s posts on Douyin are about her lighthearted and humorous family life.

“It’s a surprise that this video went viral because none of my previous videos with my daughters drew much attention,” she said.

People online were captivated by the mother and daughter’s touching story. While some praised the little girl’s financial management, others said it reminded them of being tricked by their mothers into handing over their Lunar New Year lucky money.

“Don’t believe the double return; I grew up being cheated like this,” one cynical person commented.

Some people humorously told the daughter to download “anti-fraud software” as a precaution in case there was a next time.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.