The child was made to kneel with his arms outstretched and left there for hours by his father who thought public humiliation would stimulate the boy.
A concerned neighbour in Chongqing Municipality’s Yongchuan District, in south-western China, spotted the boy in the street and took a picture.
According to neighbours, the father runs a fruit shop and is notoriously strict with his son – one of two boys in the family.
After being told by teachers that the 10-year-old had not done his homework again, the child was made to kneel on a plastic crate while a homemade cross was tied to his back.
The boy was not released until hours later and it is unclear whether the unnamed parent has resorted to similar methods in the past.
When the picture was widely shared online, the father is said to have targeted the neighbour with his fury. He is said to be considering suing the impromptu photographer for publishing the picture without his permission.
The father said it was ‘nothing serious’ and ‘just a joke’ adding he did not expect his shop to get so much attention.
It is unclear whether he is being investigated by the police.