he family of China’s most famous impoverished child is apparently no longer impoverished, according to local government standards.
Wang Fuman is from one of China’s poorest regions. He used to have to walk 4.5 kilometers each day to reach his primary school in a mountainous area of Yunnan’s Ludian county. One January morning last year, he made that hour-long trek as temperatures dropped to a frigid minus 8 degrees Celsius outside. Arriving at school, Fuman’s teacher snapped a photo of the little boy with his hair and eyebrows covered in ice.
That photo changed everything for Fuman, who became known as “Ice Boy.” He turned into an online celebrity overnight, his migrant worker father returned home, donations started rolling in, he was taken on a trip to Beijing, his family moved to a nicer home, his father got a better job, and his school was renovated.
Perhaps the most important change, though, was that Fuman’s mother returned home as well prior to this year’s Spring Festival. She had previously abandoned her family, telling reporters that she disliked her husband because he was “poor and disappointing,” but eventually decided to return because she missed her children.
However, her husband is evidently no longer poor enough.
Over the weekend, Fuman’s father wrote that he had applied for impoverished household classification so that his wife and mother could get jobs as public cleaners in the village, but his application was turned down by the village director because he owns two motor vehicles and therefore does not meet the required standards.
Most Chinese netizens have responded to the news by declaring that rules are rules.