Trending in China
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
The woman’s parents claim she owes her brother an apartment after she purchased one for her cousin. Photo: SCMP composite

‘Are they vampires?’: Chinese parents sue daughter they abandoned for refusing to buy brother apartment, causing national outrage

  • Parents who abandoned their daughter at age of 2 reappear after learning she has money and demand that she buy her younger brother an apartment
  • When she refuses they take her to court claiming she has to support them financially and court agrees with the parents, causing outrage across China

A 29-year-old woman in China is being sued by her estranged parents after she refused to buy her younger brother an apartment.

The woman, surnamed Zhang, from Guangzhou in southern China, is being sued for 500,000 yuan (US$72,000) in “maintenance” by her birth parents, Shandong Business Daily reported.

Zhang has no relationship with her parents who left her to be raised by her father’s sister when she was two years old.

They had little interaction with their daughter over the following years and Zhang now considers her aunt’s family to be her biological family.

People inspect a replica model of apartments for sale in China. Photo: Shutterstock

It was only recently when Zhang used her savings to buy an apartment for her cousin whom she grew up with, that her parents suddenly reappeared in her life.

They demanded that Zhang buy her biological brother, whom they had kept, an apartment as well.

When she refused her parents filed a lawsuit with a local court seeking 500,000 yuan in parental maintenance.

Cuteness overload: 3-year-old boy swab tests mask-wearing pet cats for Covid

The court ruled that Zhang has no obligation to buy property for her adult brother, however, it said that she must pay the maintenance, with the amount to be negotiated with the parents.


This is because under the Civil Code of China all adult children have a legal obligation to support their parents. This applies regardless of estrangement or abandonment.

The court’s ruling has caused outrage across China. At the time of writing, a trending news post online had received 6,619 comments and 316,000 interactions with the vast majority highly critical of the behaviour of Zhang’s biological parents.


Pine nut picker carried off by hydrogen balloon rescued after 2 days in the wild in China

Pine nut picker carried off by hydrogen balloon rescued after 2 days in the wild in China

One person commented: “Are they vampires? The father sucked up the blood of his sister, and now he and his wife want to drain the blood from their daughter. ”

Another said: “It’s so lucky that Zhang didn’t grow up in her family of origin. Horrible!”

“I do support Zhang who declined the request, otherwise it would be another story of tragedy,” another said.