Wu Chun-mei is the daughter of a wealthy merchant family and becomes Adeline’s best friend during her years in Shanghai. Chun-mei is a remarkable athlete, initially catching Adeline’s interest with her prowess in any sport or game. However, the two bond most over their love of reading, and Chun-mei often loans Adeline books to read in exchange for help with arithmetic. Although Chun-mei is unaware of Adeline’s abusive home life, she seems to intuit that Adeline suffers in some way and responds by being a fiercely loyal friend, walking to and from school with Adeline for miles as an act of solidarity, even though her chauffer is right behind them both. She also refuses to have her birthday party unless Adeline can attend—despite the fact that many other friends can attend—showing to Adeline that she is cherished by the people around her. In this way, Chun-mei demonstrates the ways in which good friends are invaluable to individuals enduring abusive or traumatic situations. Chun-mei inadvertently discovers the abuse that Adeline suffers from her parents when, after helping Adeline become the democratically-elected class president, she organizes a surprise party of friends who follow Adeline home and witness Niang screaming and beating Adeline until she bleeds from her face. As Chun-mei leaves, still loyal to Adeline, she shouts at Niang and Father that such treatment is cruel and unfair. Adeline is taken to Tianjin days later as result of this incident, and the two never see each other again.