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An eight-year-old Chinese pupil, dubbed “Ice Boy” by social media users after images emerged of him arriving at school with swollen hands and frost on his hair and eyebrows, has sparked renewed discussion online about child poverty.

Many users say the pictures of “Little Wang”, who went viral on Monday, highlight that not enough is being done to help children from poor, rural families in China.

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One photo of the boy, which has been shared by tens of thousands of people, shows him with swollen red cheeks and dressed in a thin jacket, being laughed at by classmates.

The site found that the boy is a “left-behind child” – one of tens of millions of Chinese children who rarely see their parents, who have moved to the cities to find work to support them.

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State-run CCTV says the provincial Communist Youth League has donated 100,000 yuan (about $15,350: £11,350) so that each child at the school can have better clothing, and for the school to improve its heating system.