Photo of the respondents to Liu Xingwangs monthly prescription
First win, then lose. If you lose more, you borrow money and gamble.
Banks, Internet platforms, non-governmental organizations, classmates and friends, Liu Zhou has borrowed all over. But for a year, his credit list was full of holes.
The 27-year-old cant stop those holes. His work experience is a broken line. The gap between his long and short life is unemployment and salary arrears.
If you dont owe money, you can do whatever you want. Father Liu Xingwang said to his son when he knew the truth. Next, he paid off Liu Zhouyuans debt of nearly 300,000 yuan, with another 100,000 yuan. He was still trying to find a way.
Since Liu Zhou was 2 years old, Liu Xingwang has been working outside. Apart from the reunion during the Spring Festival, his father and son call each month for no more than 5 minutes at a time. The content of the telephone: I used to say that I didnt study well, only wanted money, and then I worked, saying that I didnt know how to save money.
According to the data released by the All-China Womens Federation in 2013, there are 61 million left-behind children in China. Like many of them, Liu Zhou has a vague impression of his father. The isolation of time and space caused obstacles to the communication between father and son, because Im afraid hell talk about me again, when Liu Zhougang began to borrow money, he planned to hide it from his family.
Ultimately, the decades-old model of the family is working again: the family is short of money, the father gives money. Liu Xingwang mended the holes his son had poked out one by one.
Liu Zhou still has no idea how much his father can earn in a month. It has paid back 300,000 yuan, which is equivalent to Liu Xingwangs income of five years of working without food or drink.
Liu Xingwang heard Liu Zhou crying on the phone. He closed his eyes, trembled slightly and stamped his feet in a hurry. Liu Zhou works in Wuhan, Hubei Province, and Liu Xingxing works in Fuqing, Fujian Province. Tens of minutes ago, it was her wife who called first and talked about her sons debt. She cried so hard that she couldnt speak clearly.
The crying mixed into the huge noise of the mechanical workshop, and Liu Xingwang was upset. He had not heard the child cry very much, and suddenly remembered that Liu Zhou was ill when he was a child. He and his wife were at a loss, and they ran around between the clinic and the hospital in their hometown. The baby cried in his arms. That sense of confusion seems to have returned.
300,000 yuan, thats too big.
Two years ago, Liu Xingwang bought a house for Liu Zhou in the suburbs of Wuhan. The down payment cost him all his savings and owed his relatives 30,000 yuan. He thought, who else could borrow money? The names of classmates, relatives and colleagues appeared in his mind one by one, and the faces of old and dead people who did not know each other also appeared in front of him.
Liu Xingwang, 55, hasnt walked out of the workshop. The Hubei farmer, carrying a bag, drifted for 25 years in the assembly line workshops of more than 10 cities in Guangdong and Fujian. To pay off his sons debts, he did not care about face. As long as he had saved his telephone number, Liu Xingwang dialed him and tried to take chances. Many people hang up as soon as they hear about borrowing money. He will call them again and laugh at them.
Soon, Liu Zhous mobile phone received a reminder that the first sum of money had arrived. He recalled that he felt guilty, angry and relaxed at that moment - not a small amount of money, but when he gambled, his brain was hot and he bet.
For the first time, Liu Zhou made a profit. He was engaged in software development at that time. He heard from his colleagues about a software called Hubei Quick 3 Lucky Lottery and downloaded it that night. During that time, he had a new girlfriend, just changed his job and residence, and was in a tight position to earn a little money to subsidize his life.
He has not heard the story of his life destroyed by gambling. At the beginning, he drew a line for himself. When he lost 1000 yuan, he stopped playing. The more he was afraid of losing, the more he lost.
A few days later, he did delete the software, but after two days, he couldnt help downloading it again. Maybe we can get back to the original. Liu Zhou put all his spare money in his hand, and soon lost it again. He was so angry that he deleted the software and downloaded it after paying his salary. The amount of money he put in reached thousands of yuan at a time.
1000 yuan is Liu Zhous one month rent and one months meal. It is equal to Liu Xingwangs reward for 30 hourswork in a roaring workshop, 200 shutters or 175 air conditioning outlets. But in online gambling software, it is only the smallest one in four digits, a chip that can easily be thrown in.
At an aluminium alloy factory in Fuqing, Fujian Province, Liu Xingwang, 55, is the workshop director and needs to be on the front line. He lives in the dormitory provided by the enterprise. There is a bed in the room. There are no wardrobes and tables. The kettles, bowls and chopsticks, clothes and so on are placed on several plastic chairs.
This is the best place for Liu Xingwang to work. Living alone all the year round, he seldom feels family affection at a specific level, but when he hears his son asking for help, he does not hesitate to make a decision to repay his sons money.
He has always been decisive in choosing family-related choices.
Twenty-five years ago, he worked in a township enterprise in Xiantao, Hubei Province, earning 100 yuan a month. The wife was laid off and the family rented and lived in one room. Liu Zhou is often ill and goes to the hospital almost every week. He even believed in folk recipes and borrowed money to buy blood for his son. In order to improve the familys life, Liu Xingwang decided to go to work.
When he was young, he could get a job by sending in his resume in the morning and in the afternoon. By 2014, Liu Xingwang, 50, had stayed in a private hotel for two months before he was offered a job. I suddenly found myself abandoned by the times. But for his family, he had to carry it. If I dont go to work, the whole family cant open the door.
This time, he carried all the debts for his son. He couldnt say what family and family meant, but felt that this is what father has to do.
The truth is cruel. Whats more cruel is that the truth is incomplete. After eight months of fund-raising efforts, Liu Xingwang learned that his son still owed 100,000 yuan and 25% of the monthly interest. He never imagined that his honest and timid son would find a private lending company. He lacked fathers love when he was young, and I dont believe he had the courage to borrow money from a loan company.
Liu Zhous initial concealment was due to distrust. In his opinion, his father did not understand him at all.
He lived like an island, and his classmates, colleagues and friends could not really get close to him. He lost his job and was owed his salary by his boss. He didnt tell anyone about gambling, let alone gambling. One night, his girlfriend happened to find him gambling. After the quarrel, they broke up.
After graduating from college in 2014, Liu Zhou worked for a teacher in the school. He was responsible for printing, PPT, or playing a part-time role after the teacher took over the project outside. The salary for one month was 300 yuan. In 2015, he found a formal job with a monthly salary of 2,000 yuan, no five insurance and one fund, and a three-month internship with a pay discount of 20%. Familiar colleagues said he was fooled by the companys human resources department.
The job market is not friendly to this young man with low education and average skills, which is the only job he has found in two months. Liu Zhou recalled that he had not resigned voluntarily in the past five years after graduation. He went through bankruptcies, business line cuts, or months of unpaid pay arrears. It takes another month or two to find a new job. Whether the company has social security or not, he doesnt care. Sometimes he doesnt have a labor contract. He works first.
On one occasion, Liu Zhou worked overtime for three weeks without a day off. On the eve of his salary, he was asked to work overtime until 23 oclock. Without the subway, the boss asked him to take a taxi home and reimburse him by ticket the next day. At daybreak, he was told not to go to work. He dared not even go to the company to ask for an explanation.
Liu Xingwang is always pushed out of his job by a cheap young man like his son because of his age. He was a college graduate in the 1980s. He also had working experience. He was an important skilled worker in the factory. But every time after entering the factory, young people will be arranged as reserve cadres to follow him.
Liu Xingwang knows that his boss takes his experience seriously, and when young people learn it, they will kick him away. Every time before he was dismissed, he knew he was leaving.
Young people are willing to work hard and cheap. Factory owners dont show affection. They only have interests in their eyes. For a long time, he was accustomed to this crisis-ridden day. You cant control the bosss mind, so let yourself be in a good mood. You can do whatever you want. You should leave.
Liu Xingwang has suffered a lot. The employer promised to pay him 7,000 yuan a month, and finished the first month, but turned his back and refused to pay him 4,500 yuan. He was also dismissed on payday, when his monthly salary was deducted to only a few hundred yuan. Later, he learned that finance began to record his work mistakes as early as a month ago: old tools, worn work clothes, raw materials in the workshop were not put in order, a batch of products were overdue... Liu Xingwang has experienced all the difficulties his son encountered in the workplace.
Liu Zhou also worked in factory workshops. When he was a freshman, he interned in an electronics factory in Suzhou. Stand by the pipeline every day and scan every circuit board before you with a measuring instrument. If the instrument emits a beep sound, it indicates that there is a problem with the circuit board and it needs to be picked out. The colleagues on the left and right sides of Liu Zhou are responsible for checking the other positions of the circuit board.
Looking back on that winter vacation, Liu Zhou still feels extremely depressed. He felt he was trapped in an infinite cycle, working 12 hours a day, doing the same thing, countless identical boards passing in front of him, and the roar of machines in his ears. Everyone is dull, sometimes a day can not say a word.
When he graduated from college, Liu Zhou was admitted by Foxconn as a technical cadre. He went in as a 6-level worker. He refused without thinking. He felt that he should be a bright-looking white-collar worker in an air-conditioned office building after learning software development.
When Liu Zhou gave up Foxconn, Liu Xingwang walked into the new workshop until like a towel cant twist water, unexpectedly, and then rushed to the next one.
In the 1990s, Liu Xingwang was one of the tens of millions of workers. He believed in hard work and wealth, and was willing to endure loneliness and bad working conditions, expecting his hands to change the fate of his family. He attaches great importance to his sons studies and does not want his children to follow their old ways.
In more than half a century of life experience, he has seen the power of knowledge to really change fate. Liu Xingwang took the College Entrance Examination in 1983, 8 points behind the admission score. The students who took the exam together passed the exam. Now they are professors at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. They also helped him when he was cheated in his part-time job. Liu Xingwang was recommended by township enterprises as a commission trainee and obtained a college degree. When he went south to work in 1994, he earned 1500 yuan a month of milk powder money. Later, he earned a 60 square meters commercial house in his hometown and his sons college tuition and living expenses of more than 100,000 yuan.
Liu Zhou didnt do as his father hoped. He did not do well in the college entrance examination. He scored more than 200 points in the college entrance examination. Liu Xingwang pondered over how to let his son try his best to get a junior college entrance exam, find ways to test civil servants, and engage in stable work. But Liu Zhou thinks that being a programmer is good and earns more than being a civil servant.
He has caught up with several waves of the Internet. In the era of entrepreneurship, in 2015 alone, more than 7,000 start-ups in China received about 500 billion yuan in investment. He knocked out codes for some e-commerce platforms and smart hardware products.
In 2016, known as the first year of live broadcasting, he wrote live software. But he did not know that the companys business was suspected of violating the law. Less than a month after his entry, the Shenzhen operation team was under the control of the police. The company was dissolved without wages.
In 2017, he worked in a shared bicycle company, waiting for everyone to write software and put into production vehicles, the market has been divided up by several large companies, without follow-up investment, the company was dissolved. Liu Zhou and his departing colleagues started their own businesses, did shared housekeeping and promoted and operated at their own expense. They met dozens of investors and didnt get a penny.
At the beginning of 2019, when the price of Bitcoin surged back to $9,000, he also worked as a trading platform for Bitcoin. No sooner had the code been written than the company coaxed him into terminating the labor contract without wages or compensation.
The annual output value of these industries is 10 billion or 100 billion yuan. Liu Zhou was blown from one outlet to the next by the market. He experienced a ebb before flying up. He felt that he was unlucky and incompetent, and had no choice.
By contrast, Lius work is much more earthy. He has sold CNC milling machines, worked as a mechanical repairman, and processed a kind of stainless steel plate, aluminium alloy plate and hardware components that were not produced by WISCO at that time. Some of these metals have entered tens of thousands of hotels as vents and shutters, some have become burglar-proof doors and window lattices for hundreds of thousands of families, and some have been made into noise-reducing and shock-absorbing panels, which have been purchased by Hong Kong Railway Corporation. The pianos of the Pearl River Piano Factory are polished with sandpaper produced by them.
In the year when Liu Xingwang started working, the added value of Chinas manufacturing industry was $0.19 trillion. In 2018, the figure was $4 trillion, 21 times that at that time. As early as 2010, China became the worlds largest manufacturing country and the worlds largest exporter. More than 100 million manufacturing workers in China earn trillions of dollars in foreign exchange every year.
Liu Xingwang felt that most of the young people of his generation could not suffer, but spent a lot of money. Like many workers of similar age, he did not want to go home, but could not go home. The living expenses of the next generation, and even the next generation, will be earned by the grey-haired people.
He criticized his sons behavior of using credit cards to consume in advance and in stages. He felt that it would lose the ability to resist risks and that he should live within his means, but Liu Zhou could not listen to it. At that time, Liu Xingwang did not know that Liu Zhou had begun to cash with credit cards, and the amount of a bet during gambling had also been raised to tens of thousands of yuan.
After losing a lot of money, Liu Zhou realized that he was cheated by online gambling. He began to buy off-line football lottery tickets, full of confidence in himself, I do software, understand the data, will see the trend, will certainly not lose. The problem is that Liu Zhou never watches football or knows nothing about it. He only knows several world-famous stars and occasionally kicks with his colleagues.
Before the start of a match, he had a hunch that the German team would win. He took a day off and went to the bank to withdraw 20,000 yuan in cash with his credit card and put all his bets on it. He stayed in front of the TV until 3 a.m. the next day. Germany won a big victory. He won 7,000 yuan. He not only won all the money lost in gambling, but also made more than 1,000 yuan.
After that, he repeatedly warned himself not to gamble any more, but insisted for less than a week and couldnt help buying lottery tickets. Want to take this 1000 yuan gamble, win as much as you can, lose as much as you can. But after losing all, he was reluctant to win back the principal.
The accidental reply gave him baseless self-confidence. Liu Zhouyus bet became bigger and bigger. He hoped to repeat the big win and win more and win less. He began to borrow WeChats micro loan and Alipays loan, and then net loan. His classmates and friends borrowed it again and again, either because something happened at home or because the company was in arrears. All the money borrowed went to gambling.
After eight months of exposure to gambling, Liu estimated that a total of about 150,000 yuan had been lost. The young man never keeps accounts and borrows money. He applies for repayment in 24 or 36 instalments to overdraw all his income in the next two or three years. According to his plan, his income deducts the cost of living, just enough to pay back the money.
At that time, Liu Zhous department was cut off entirely. It was not until two months later that he found his next job.
He cant remember how much he owed or how much he owed others. Because he couldnt repay the money in time, he received calls every day, and a friend who called himself police station applied by micro-mail. The other side said that if the repayment was not made, the bank would go to court to sue him, possibly imprisoned. Liu Zhou knew he had done something wrong and caused trouble. But he didnt expect the police to intervene so soon. He immediately panicked.
At this time, many of his relatives also received calls for collection. He explained that these calls were made by cheaters. Dont believe it. While looking for private lending in small roadside advertisements, he would pay attention to every place where money could come when there was no way out.
By borrowing several usurious loans, he repaid his overdue debts, but fell into deeper anxiety. Every day when he opens his eyes, he cant help but calculate in his mind how much interest the money generates today, and how to hide it from his parents has become the most important issue with a few days to go before the latest repayment date.
Continue to gamble, continue to borrow usury, is to rely on their own money back. Liu Zhou said, Im afraid my father will beat me and say something about me.
After years of rejecting Foxconns work, Liu realized that he was just a pipelining worker in the Internet age. He did the same thing every day. The code was never finished. He worked longer hours and had more mental stress.
Liu Xingwang is not optimistic about his sons industry. He commented that sharing bicycles is now a sunset industry. My kid wrote the software and nobody wanted it. Ive seen it since August last year. No way. He knows the relationship between every brick and the building. Real estate is no good, we cant make aluminium alloy.
Aluminum alloy factories are all enterprises with serious pollution. Liu Xingwang explains that in this era, if the boss is still eager for quick success and instant benefit, it can not be done. The annual output value of the factory is 2 billion yuan. In the past, it was able to steal sewage. Now, it is very difficult to find out, and the life of the enterprise is very sad.
After working in many different places, Liu Xingwang, 55, did not know where he was from. Its like swimming in the river all his life and never going ashore. Because of his sons business, he had to continue swimming, and how long he could swim was unclear.
In March this year, he was almost replaced by the reserve cadres in the factory. Because of his poor academic skills, his boss postponed his plan to dismiss him after investigation. It takes him an average of four months to find a new job after age 50, and many factories do not recruit people over age 50.
Liu Xingwang was diagnosed with coronary heart disease and old myocardial infarction before the Chinese New Year. Experts from Wuhan Union Medical College Hospital asked him to be hospitalized immediately and determine the treatment plan. But Liu Xingwang has no money and no time. He asked the doctor to prescribe some medicine, but was refused, so he had to re-register an ordinary number, tell the doctor about his family, and plead for prescribe some life-saving medicine. Finally, the doctor agreed to prescribe the medicine, but in order to avoid disputes, the medical record left eight words: patients refuse to take medicine, request to take medicine.
Liu Xingwangs neighbor upstairs also suffered from coronary heart disease. He died suddenly on Lantern Festival night this year. Liu Xingwang heard the cry upstairs for a whole night. But he had no choice but to take medicine. He kept the secret of his illness for fear that his boss would know to quit him. When he couldnt support it, he asked his relatives to raise thousands of yuan on the public welfare platform.
When Liu Xingwang talked about all this, a typhoon had just landed. As a workshop director, he wanted to organize his colleagues to guard the factory, but suddenly received a call from his wife crying, saying only that he left home after a quarrel with his son, but not the reason. Liu Xingwang was in a hurry and called his son again.
After listening to Liu Xingwang, he shouted angrily: Before, I repeatedly asked you if there was anything wrong with me (Hubei dialect, referring to me - reporters note). At this point, all the big things can be said. How much do you pay differently?
After receiving the reply of 27,000 yuan, Liu Xingwang sighed, Are you short of the money? No difference? Dont cry, let me find a way. No wages, no money, you said to me, I give you back, you also dont worry, at home to live in peace, never borrow money outside.
Liu Xingwang felt tired as the debts continued to fall on his shoulders. I have to be prepared for the next one. He said, When such a thing happens, a family is destroyed!
He couldnt understand why Liu Zhou, with his unstable income, could lend more than 500,000 yuan from various sources with only one ID card. He cant understand why he and his son cant pay for their work steadily through honest work.
But he remained confident in the world and began to write letters to anyone or department he could think of, not only for help, but also to save more young people and families from the abyss.
Liu Xingwang wrote letters to the State Letter and Visit Bureau and to the heads of all the formal institutions that Liu Zhouborrowed money, including Ma Yun, Ma Huateng, the chairman of China Merchants Bank and the head of personal network loan business. Only the State Bureau of Letters and Visits responded to him. This matter is not within the scope of acceptance. It is suggested that he report the problem to the local public security organs.
During the 25 years of working, Liu Xingwangs indispensable position in the family is built up by numbers, which is unshakable but full of regret. He missed every birthday and graduation ceremony of his son since he was 2 years old. He never accompanied his son to the playground, let alone to travel. Neither father nor son could find a picture of them. Liu Xingwang vaguely remembers that the last photograph was taken in 2004. The photographs were already blurred because of their age and poor preservation, and left in his hometown in Hubei Province.
When his son was 15 years old, a specialist was invited from his fathers factory to teach his employees childrens education. Liu Xingwang still remembers that the expert said that it is no problem for a child to grow up with his mother before the age of 10, but after the age of 10, he must have a father to intervene. Which of us who work here cant survive? he grinned bitterly. To tell you the truth, its not bad that people in our class can eat and live. They cant talk so much.
Despite the fact that it is difficult to take into account, Liu Xingwang still regrets his sons education. He felt that if Liu Zhou grew up, he could accompany him around, the father-son relationship would be close, and his son might have asked for help early and would not borrow so many usurious loans. Maybe he wont spoil his children like his wife. He will watch him and limit the time he plays games every day. Then he can enter a better school. Liu Xingwang said that if he did it again, he would rather leave his family and let his children grow up around him.
In the year when Liu Zhou started gambling, Liu Xingwang, who knew nothing about it, was often relieved by his son. Over the past 20 years, after he had been paid a monthly salary, he had left only a few hundred yuan for his living expenses, leaving the rest for his wife and his wife. My son is at work. He occasionally gives his family one or two thousand yuan. That year, he and Liu Zhou planned for the future: Son, you can work at ease. I will struggle for several years to buy you a house in Wuhan, make a down payment, and we will slowly repay the loan together.
According to the fathers good expectations at that time, his working days are coming to an end: In a few years, you will not be lonely, you can live an ordinary life. A family of three get together and eat three meals a day. This is the greatest hope of my life.
In the face of Liu Zhous debt due to gambling, Lius wish of ordinary people had to be postponed. I struggled all my life, did nothing, owed a bunch of debts, and had a bad relationship with my wife and children. He said, I think life is a special failure, so hard, originally thought they had a better life, now hope is broken, and I dare not hope any more.
In addition to trying to make money to help his son pay his debts, this time, he dared not absent his sons life. In the news, I have seen too many young people who choose to commit suicide because they have not paid off their debts. He is most afraid that his son will take this road.
The monthly phone calls between father and son became two or three days apart. Liu Xingwang took the initiative to call and ask about his work and advised him not to stay up late. Every time he raises money, he will reward his son with happiness and say, Dont worry, dont think blindly. In the past, Liu Zhou seldom spoke on his own initiative when talking to his father. Now he occasionally asks, Hows your health?
At the end of a few words of mutual concern, the conversation will fall silent. Liu Xingwang raised a topic and urged Liu Zhou to stop gambling and borrowing money. Only by reading more can he have a stable job.
He began to criticize and preach again, questioning me. Liu Zhou hates to listen to me very much. He always talks about me. When I go to school, he says that my grades are not good. He always asks for money at home. Joined the work, has been saying that my attitude is not serious, old job-hopping, said that I do not save money, spend money, but also said that I do not work hard. Its okay to say that I should read more books, read more news and play less games. Every time he calls, he says when he comes home for dinner on New Years Day.
Last New Years dinner, father and son had a big quarrel on the dining table, and the backlog of emotions poured out. Both men were so angry that they didnt eat for a day, but when they started talking, they both felt that it was the time when fathers and sons could understand each other best.
Liu Xingwang confessed that he did not know his son at all before, only that he changed his job frequently, but he did not know what happened and what he was thinking every day.
Liu Zhou also said that it is now possible to understand many of his fathers exhortations in the past. Thats what he suffered. Liu Zhou said, Ive experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by debt, but now hes taking it all on himself. He worked so hard outside that he paid a lot to bring me up. I used to know the truth, but now I know it more intimately.
Liu Xingwang doesnt have any hobbies. He occasionally plays cards with his workmates or goes downtown when he can only rest for half a day a week. These pastimes are gone now. He says every penny is used to pay off debts, and the days are fussy.
When the sharing bicycle company in Wuhan wrote the program, Liu Zhou heard of a place called Wangjing. At that time, the boss said, Everyone moved to Wangjing in Beijing after earning money! Have you ever been there? Its very busy? Liu Zhou asked, I went to Beijing once to attend relativesweddings, and soon it was over, not even Tiananmen. Now he doesnt want that much. He just wants the company to be stable and pay a salary. After knowing that his son was in debt, Liu Xingwangs hair was all white. His eye sockets were so deep that some colleagues said he looked like a 70-year-old man. So every month, he had to dye his hair black and choose to wear a youthful sportswear. Otherwise, the boss will dismiss me as soon as he sees me in the factory, fearing that something will happen in the factory. Liu Xingwang said, I dare not look old. (In order to protect the privacy of the interviewees, Liu Zhou is a pseudonym.) This article is from Liu Yuxin_NBJS7825, the responsible editor of China Youth Daily.
When the sharing bicycle company in Wuhan wrote the program, Liu Zhou heard of a place called Wangjing. At that time, the boss said, Everyone moved to Wangjing, Beijing, after earning money!
Have you ever been to that place? Is it very busy? Liu Zhou asked. I went to Beijing once to attend a relativeswedding, and it was over soon. I didnt even see Tiananmen. Now he doesnt want that much. He just wants the company to be stable and pay a salary.
After knowing that his son was in debt, Liu Xingwangs hair was all white. His eye sockets were so deep that some colleagues said he looked like a 70-year-old man. So every month, he had to dye his hair black and choose to wear a youthful sportswear.
Otherwise, the boss will dismiss me as soon as he sees me in the factory, fearing that something will happen in the factory. Liu Xingwang said, I dare not look old.
(In order to protect the privacy of the interviewees, Liu Zhou is a pseudonym)