Photos: Newspaper Peddlers on the Streets of Changsha

Below are photos of school-aged children peddling newspapers on the streets of Changsha, capital city of Hunan Province. The photos were taken from, which also supplied the captions and commentary, translated by CDT.

Before buying a paper, a kind-hearted auntie asks about the papergirl’s situation.

The papergirl rushes up as soon as she sees the man show an interest in buying.

Just ahead of an old street performer, a young boy peddles newspapers.

The papergirl protests the paperboy’s invasion of her “business territory.”

The “invading paperboy” dodges her left and right, smiling the whole while.

The “business territory invasion incident” finally ends with the paperboy getting knocked over by the papergirl.

Before the 2009 Spring Festival, passersby at a Changsha plaza could see a number of school-aged kids peddling newspapers in the cold, amidst crowds of people. Some of the passersby showed disdain for the children, complaining that they obstructed traffic. Others took pity on the kids and said that they deserved sympathy and an outstretched hand. Still others wanted to look more deeply into the matter before deciding whether or not to help.

According to this reporter, these kids may look unkempt, but they haven’t lost a bit of their innocence. Just as they can be competitors amongst each other, they can also be one another’s playmates!

Hecaitou, one of China’s most prominent bloggers, posted these pictures on his blog. The pictures and commentary elicited a number of reactions from his readers, selectively translated by CDT:

东东 Says:

Is this real?

Allan An Says:


111 Says:

O glorious motherland! How our people are blessed and in good health!

themoss Says:

God, she’s so young …

kapa Says:

If they’re holding a 《Global Shit Explosion》 [this is a pun on the name “Global Times,” whose Chinese name 环球时报 huan2qiu2shi2bao4 sounds like 环球屎爆 huan2qiu2shi3bao4] …..

lilii Says:

Child labor. I really pity these kids. While well-off kids are being nurtured at home, these kids invite the evil glares of others.

mute Says:

Ah, quite harmonious, flowers of the homeland~~

闲看云起 Says:

No words.

gravity0 Says:

This needs verification. Maybe they’re not selling papers. In the subway stations, there are free newspaper giveouts, and everyday during work hours, I always see middle-aged women in shabby clothes collecting papers that passengers have finished reading. Some of these women are carrying children on their backs. After a few years, maybe those children grow to be about this age, and then they probably have to do the same thing as their moms everyday. This is “the process by which poverty is inherited” (sounds like one of the Four Modernizations).

est Says:

These are all pretty much textbook examples of extreme evil, laying bare our old society.

躺着读书 Says:

长沙有地铁???? 你以为是北京啊。
Oh my gosh. You’re saying you want proof …. you think everywhere in China is like Shanghai? That everywhere is like Beijing? How awesome.
Changsha has subways???? And you thought it was like Beijing.
Seems like Chinese people have already gotten to the level of “let them eat meat porridge” [similar to the saying “let them eat cake”].

name_is_just_code Says:

一般是潇湘晨报 五毛钱一份
Changsha is my hometown.
On Huangxing Road (the busiest road, the street in the photo is similar to it), there are indeed young kids selling papers.
Typically, it’s Xiaoxiang Morning Post on sale for 5 mao a piece.

zergling Says:

However you see it, this report was heartwarming.
That young boy is still smiling. Thanks to the reporter who recorded this boy’s pure innocence.

nidadai Says:

Behind, there’s someone controlling them. How pitiable.
A slum millionaire in the background.

减肥食谱 Says:

This kind of situation still exists. I reckon that the parents are orchestrating this behind-the-scenes.

里八神 Says:

Look at what the journalist is saying.
He’s writing as if this is some great occasion for joy.

picnic Says:

This reporter’s commentary is really something, “be one another’s playmates.” Would he (she?) be willing to let his own kids play with the ones selling papers?