Child courier sparks online concern

Updated 2018-01-16 10:37:01 China Daily

Xiaochangjiang (right) spends his first celebrated birthday at a welfare house in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Sunday. The 7-year-old became an internet sensation after photos showing him working as a courier went viral on WeChat.

A young boy who works as a courier in a residential area in downtown Qingdao, Shandong province, has attracted the attention of thousands of people who are concerned about his welfare.

The 7-year-old-known only by his nickname Xiaochangjiang, which means "Little Yangtze River"-became an internet sensation after photos of him delivering goods were circulated on WeChat.

Wang Qingwei, director of Qingdao Chess Association, uploaded the photos of the boy and described how they met after the boy knocked on his door last week.

"He handed me a big package with some difficulty and asked me to sign a confirmation receipt," Wang said.

Seeing the boy's hands were red with cold, Wang invited him in for a rest. The boy, who had never seen a chess set before, was fascinated by the game. Wang said he gave him a chess set as a gift and told him to drop by and learn how to play.

Later, Wang and many other kindhearted people who had seen Wang's photos online tried to find out more about the young boy.

According to Wang's WeChat records, the boy had been living with Yan Shifang, a former colleague of his father, in a makeshift building at a local STO Express branch in the city's Shibei district.

According to Yan, the boy's father died and his mother remarried. Yan said he brought the boy from Zaozhuang, Shandong province, to Qingdao where he helped Yan deliver packages.

A notice issued by Qingdao Shibei district government has confirmed Yan's account and that an investigation is under way to locate his mother.

"The local police authority has not yet found the boy's registered household and we are trying to find the boy's mother," the notice said.

Many people have donated money to Xiaochangjiang, who was sent to a local children's welfare house on the weekend.

"The boy is very smart and he is in good health," said Ren Linsong, deputy director of the welfare house, who added that they will take care of him and help him with his schooling.

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