The man, identified by his surname Jiang, sold the child to a couple after racking up a debt of more than 60,000 yuan (£6,798) by gambling online, according to Chinese reports.
The unemployed man in Guiyang, Guizhou province took his one-year-old daughter away from home and told his wife that the girl would be staying with her grandmother.
Last November, Jiang told his wife that they would be staying with his mother in Zunyi city, about 140 kilometres (87 miles) away from their home.
The mother, sunamed Wang, grew suspicious after she hadn't heard from her daughter for nearly three months.
Every time she asked her husband about their daughter's whereabouts, he would give her different excuses to delay her return.
One day in February, the concerned mother was checking her husband's phone at home when she discovered a screenshot of a conversation between him and her daughter's buyers, revealing the shocking discovery.
On the same day, she met with her mother-in-law, who told her that the child had been taken away from her weeks ago.
The horrified mother immediately reported the incident to police in Qianling district after her husband was nowhere to be found.
Following investigations, police eventually discovered Jiang at a hotel in Guiyang late February.
He admitted to owing the large sum of gambling debts and opted for the extreme measure after seeing an online post about child adoption.
Jiang lied and told the buyers, a couple in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, that he could no longer afford to raise the child because he had been separated from his wife and both his parents were dead.