#IceBoy's frozen hair shocks China

'Little Wang' was photographed by his teacher.
'Little Wang' was photographed by his teacher. Photo credit: Supplied

There's been an outpouring of generosity in China towards a young boy who showed up to school with frozen hair.

Photographs of 'Little Wang' spread through Chinese social media earlier this week. One showed his hair spiked with ice crystals, and another showed not just how cold his hands were - they were swollen - but that he still managed to get 99/100 on a test.

Local state media reports the eight-year-old walks 4.5km every day to get to school, and the day the photo was taken, it was -9degC outside. He lives with grandmother and sister - his parents moved to the city for work, and rarely see him.

The BBC reports his teacher at the school in Ludian County, Yunnan, took the photos on January 8 and sent them to the school's headmaster, and they quickly went viral online under the hashtag #IceBoy.

Another photo showed his cold, swollen hands - and an almost perfect mark on a test. Photo credit: Supplied

But rather than mockery, users of social media site Weibo felt a mixture of pride in Wang's determination, and horror at the life he was born in to.

"This child knows that knowledge can change his fate," said one user.

"What is the local Yunnan government doing about this?" asked another.

The provincial Communist Youth League donated about NZ$21,500 to his school so it can supply better clothes and improve its heating system, CCTV reported.

Others wondered how many other millions of children face the same hardships as Wang.

"No one knows how many poor children there are, helping one is only helping one," one social media user commented.