A young man is regretting what he called a joke, and one that others just didn't find funny - putting his baby niece up for sale on the Internet.
"I realized I was wrong in doing that. I already said I'm sorry to my sister, and I hope people don't disturb her," the man surnamed Yu, from Zhangshu city of Jiangxi province, told China Daily.
The 25-year-old became a popular target of online discussion in the last few days after someone found he had put an advertisement on taobao.com, the most popular platform for online shopping in China, offering his baby niece for 1 yuan (14 cents).
The ad reads: "This is my sister's baby daughter. My sister wants a boy instead. Those who want to adopt can contact me."
"That's why China will have too many bachelors in the future, as there are too many people like this, thinking boys are better than girls," a netizen named 'wenrouyidang' said.
Yu, however, feels he is the one who has been wronged as he only treated it "like a joke" to "help his sister".
Yu said he actually posted the ad six months ago, when his sister came to talk with him after her mother-in-law said a boy would be so much better than a daughter.
"She was very upset and angry. She said she wanted to give this baby away so that she can have a boy instead," Yu said.
Yu said he didn't know his sister was not serious. All he was thinking was that he should do something to alleviate his sister's pressure from her mother-in-law.
"As I often buy things from Taobao, I came up with that idea," Yu said. "I didn't mean to sell her. That's why I set the price at only 1 yuan. I just wanted to find some good people to adopt my niece."
Yu said a doctor from Anhui province even contacted him about adopting, yet when he told his sister about it, her attitude changed.
"She said I was unreasonable to take what she said seriously. She was just angry and sad and didn't really want to give away the girl."
Taobao said it immediately removed the ad once it was discovered as "it's obviously illegal to sell a person". Yu's advertisement was removed about 10 days after he put it online.