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China: Around The Nation

How Chinese teenager’s touching act of honesty led to big reward

Boy left cash and note of apology after bumping into car on his scooter and motorist was so moved he has given teenager 10,000 yuan to help with his education

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 February, 2017, 12:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 February, 2017, 12:35pm

A Chinese teenager’s act of honesty has won him a 10,000-yuan (US$1,450) study grant after he accidentally damaged a luxury car and left the owner an apology note and all the money he had on him as compensation.

Chen Yifan, a high school pupil from Xinmi in northern Henan province, knocked into one of the side mirrors of a parked BMW while riding his electric bicycle earlier this month, the news website Dahe.cn reported.

As the car owner was nowhere in sight, Chen decided to pen him a note expressing his apologies and left 311 yuan – all the money he had in his pocket at the time.

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“Dear uncle, I’m sorry for my mistake and I also feel quite sad about it,” Chen wrote.

“I am a student and work as an intern. I’ve left some money for you as compensation. I know it’s not enough, but I don’t have more money. I am sincerely sorry.”

After the owner of the luxury car returned and found the note and cash on his car, he was deeply touched, the report said.

The owner whose full name was not given, said he at first threw the note away as he did not think it necessary to hold the boy accountable for the damage to his car mirror.

But as he pondered over Chen’s honesty, he decided to retrieve the paper and do something to praise and encourage the boy.

With the help of local police, he contacted Chen’s family to thank him for owning up to the accident, the report said.

Education gap threatens poor Hong Kong children

Chen’s mother offered to cover the cost of repair for the damaged mirror, but the car owner turned her down and paid the repair bill himself.

Days later, he asked his daughter to send 10,000 yuan in cash to Chen, specifying that the money was to help him in his studies.

The teenager and his family initially declined to accept the cash, but eventually took it after they were persuaded by local police and propaganda officials, according to the report.