The home video, which has gone viral, shows the boy running towards his father, who is filming him, in thick snow with only his shoes and underpants on.

At times, the boy of four cries and pleads with his dad to take him in his arms.

On several occasions, both parents tell their son to lie down in the snow, which he does eventually when his mother presses him.

The video has put renewed focus on the harshness of Chinese parenting, the philosophy famously illustrated by Chinese American Tiger Mother author, Amy Chua last year.

The viral YouTube clip, which was posted online by the boy’s father, surname He, who comes from the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, has been viewed by tens of thousands of people.

According to the father’s personal assistant, with the surname, Xin, the father, who took his son on holiday to New York last month, was simply trying to train his son to be strong. Xin said He’s strong training method had cured his son of Cerebal Palsy.

“The child agreed and before the run, he did half an hour of slow running to warm up,” said Xin.

“This child has received all sorts of forms of training since he was small. When he was one, he started swimming in water that was 21 degrees Celsius.”

However, the public is angered.

One comment posted on the site ‘netizen’ reads: “I don’t agree with this… We should give children a happy childhood, those terrible parents say they do this for their child’s own good, but I think their purpose is just to be able to brag in the future.”

Another person, on Sina’s popular weibo microblogging service, said: “I really don’t support this, poor kid, does the kid’s mother let the father do whatever he wants to do?”

The father has now been nicknamed “Eagle Dad” in reference to Chua’s controversial book, which endorsed tough parenting.

Xin said He had disregarded the flood of online criticism.

“He says he doesn’t care what others say… that the fact that the child lived showed that he has tenacious vitality,” she said.