A chinese man bought two dozen Barbie dolls to keep his whining eight-year-old daughter quiet, but it only meant howls of protest from his wife instead.

"The man was so desperate to please his daughter he spent 5,000 yuan ($840) on 10 school bags and 20 Barbie dolls," Xinhua news agency said, quoting a Beijing newspaper.

"The father’s shopping sprees ended up frightening his daughter who stopped making gift demands but the wasted money angered his wife who threatened to divorce him."

Xinhua did not say where the family lived.

Pampered offspring, the result of China’s one-child policy and known as Little Emperors, are expected to underpin a domestic consumption boom in the next decade.