Top China CEO faked PhD

Discussion in 'China' started by Armand2REP, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Tang Jun Fake PhD Scandal Escalates, May Involve Other Leaders

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    Tang Jun presents the media with diploma from Pacific Western University certifying his PhD in electrical engineering. Fang Zhouzi pointed out that Pacific Western had been investigated and disbanded for selling sham credentials.


    Tang Jun, former president of Microsoft China Co., Ltd. and current CEO of Xinhuadu Industrial Group Co., Ltd. has been a hot topic on Chinese internet forums lately, after science writer Fang Zhouzi alleged that Tang’s doctorate credentials are fake. In an interview with China National Radio, Tang publicly responded to the allegations for the first time, but Fang and others have refuted his claims. Chinese netizens have sprung into action, and an alumni list for America’s Pacific Western University now circulating in forums shows Tang may not be the only Chinese company leader to have gotten their degree from the institution. Pacific Western University has been investigated for fraud related to the sale of fake credentials.

    Are Tang Jun's PhD credentials credible?
    "First, he (Fang Zhouzi) set up this hypothesis about me, and then proceeded to prove that I wasn't what I said I was," Tang told reporters. "So really, he's setting up for himself to be proved and to disprove me, and I can't prove him wrong in that respect. I hope that people will understand this."

    The controversy over Tang Jun's credentials was spurred by a post on science writer Fang Zhouzi’s microblog that accused Tang of having a fake doctorate in computer science from the California Institute of Technology. On July 1st, Fang wrote on his blog that, “a search of the California Institute of Technology alumni list of doctorates that majored in computer science does not turn up Tang Jun, nor anyone surnamed Tang. Papers authored by Tang cannot be found in a database search for doctoral dissertations with American universities.”

    Tang eventually responded to Fang's challenges in an interview on a China National Radio program: “I've never said that I had gotten my doctorate from the California Institute of Technology, but I have done research studies at the institute. I have gotten my PhD, although not from the said school.”

    So where did Tang receive his doctorate? He replied that he had been enrolled in a doctorate program at a university in Japan for five years, but decided at the last minute to go the US to pursue his studies. “I continued my studies and research at the Pacific Western University, and eventually got my PhD there. I have the diploma to prove it,” Tang explained.

    Is Pacific Western University a legitimate college?
    Fang continues to call into question Tang’s credentials: “If Tang Jun says that Pacific Western University is a legitimate college, then I will ask him: What is the name of the professor who supervised him? What was his topic of research? What is the title of his dissertation? Where is his dissertation published?”

    Fang posted an update on July 6th: “Tang Jun has said that he received his doctorate from Pacific Western University, but this is a well-publicized, illegitimate college that has been investigated for selling sham degrees. The school was based in Hawaii, but was never accredited by the US Department of Education. Pacific Western, along with several other sham colleges, was at the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by State of Hawaii for fraud, and was eventually disbanded.” Fang also pointed out that according to data revealed by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2004, credentials could be bought with the Pacific Western University for the following prices: Bachelor's degree $2,295; Master's degree $2,395; doctorate degree $2,595 – all sales final. “Tang Jun's doctorate was bought from an unaccredited and illegitimate college, and is thus not recognized by society or institutions. It is a sham credential; he cannot state that he has a PhD with that kind of credential.”

    Tang responded to the accusations in an interview with CCTV, saying that there are two colleges with the name Pacific Western – the one in Hawaii was illegitimate, but the one he attended and eventually got his PhD from in California was the real deal, and has always been accredited and recognized. Fang responded to this claim as well, saying that the two schools are one and the same – the California branch was an affiliate of the same university GAO cracked down on for sale of sham credentials.

    Are Tang's claims on inventions legitimate?
    "These are my inventions. I have come up with the original data, the software, and the hardware for the inventions, why can't I say that these belong to me?” – Tang Jun responding to questions about his intellectual property claims on photo sticker (purikura) booths and score-keeping karaoke machines.

    Fang again rebutted these claims: “First off, all of the English-language introductions about photo sticker booths state that the machines were invented by a 30-year old Japanese woman by the name of Sasaki Miho. Secondly, the score-keeping karaoke machines were patented in 1998 by Pawate, and then by Japanese inventors named Tanaka and Wakamoto. Tang has not been named or registered with any of the patents related to his so-called inventions.”

    Tang responded by saying that “the original idea for the photo sticker booth” had been his, and that he had sold his ideas to a Japanese company. “I've never said that I had patented the invention with the photo sticker booth, but the original idea came from me. That's what I've stated when referring to the photo sticker booths in my speeches and presentations.” As for the score-keeping karaoke machines, Tang said the following: “The technology and the idea for the machines was mine, and I had thought up the invention by myself when I was still at school. I manufactured a prototype and sent it to a company. That company eventually negotiated a deal with a South Korean company; they then proceeded to patent the invention. But still, I thought up the original idea and technology for the score-keeping machine, so of course I have a right to my own invention.”

    Sham credential scandal involving Tang Jun escalates
    The statement during the China National Radio interview that Tang had pursued his doctorate at a Japanese university for five years but eventually left to continue his studies in the US s also drawn further scrutiny. A 2004 NASDAQ prospectus for Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, where Tang served as president and director of the company 2004-2008, states, “Mr. Tang holds a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pacific Western, and a doctorate degree in electronics from Nagoya University, Japan”.

    Fang did not miss the chance to attack, posting yet another entry on his microblog stating that, “the prospectus obviously provided stock buyers with false information.”

    Tang isn’t the only Pacific Western alumni
    When Fang disclosed information about Tang's false credentials, someone surnamed Yu, a chairman for a investing company based in Beijing, posted a rebuke on his microblog saying that it is “snide and cheap” to try and uncover someone's credentials as a sham and undermine their respective careers. Later, Chinese netizens exposed Yu to be another alumnus of the discredited Pacific Western University.

    Chinese netizens recently claimed that they've uncovered a list of business management doctorates from Pacific Western, and that familiar names associated with prominent companies and research institutes in China are on the list. It seems as if the fire with the sham credential scandal will burn on for a little bit longer still.

    http://www.echinacities.com/china-media/tang-jun-fake-phd-scandal-escalates-may-involve-other_1.html
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Faking it in China
    Published: Friday, Jul 16, 2010, 9:35 IST
    By Venkatesan Vembu

    A bizarre ritual is currently under way among China’s business elite, many of whom are giving a bit of spit-and-polish treatment to their resumes, particularly those that are available in the public domain and list their numerous glowing credentials.

    But curiously, in doing so, some of China’s most famous entrepreneurs and executives aren’t adding to their list of achievements, as one might reasonably expect, but deleting specific references that they were proud to flaunt until barely a fortnight ago. In particular, references to their educational qualifications, and more specifically about their having secured overseas degrees, are being erased.

    It isn’t a virulent and contagious attack of swadeshi scholastic spirit that accounts for this hurried cover-up of academic tracks. The tycoons — or, more correctly, their public relations spinmeisters — are busy papering over their previous, exaggerated claims about their academic credentials.

    This follows the sensational unmasking of one of China’s top professional managers Tang Jun — the former president of Microsoft China, no less — as having inflated his credentials somewhat.

    China has, of course, long borne the deserved cross for being the global capital for fake manufactured goods: everything from the iPad to fashion accessories to automobiles has been counterfeited with clinical precision.

    But the events of the past fortnight have held up an unflattering mirror to the manner in which even men who have made it to the top of the managerial and entrepreneurial class in China have been exposed as fakers of the first order, whose reputation and integrity rests on very slippery ground.

    It all started a fortnight ago with a fairly benign microblog post by Fang Shimin (better known as Fang Zhouzi), a crusader against scientific and academic fraud. Fang posted, in response to a query from a follower, that Tang’s claims in his best-selling autobiography Wo de Cheng Gong Ke Yi Fu Zhi (My Success Can Be Replicated) about his having been awarded a PhD by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) were false.

    Tang, who is a celebrated motivational speaker in China, initially did not respond, but when the controversy refused to die down even days later, he came out with a denial — but it only damned him further.

    He said he had never claimed to have graduated from Caltech — which was easily disproved, since even his LinkedIn profile page listed a computer science PhD from Caltech as one of his qualifications. He instead said he had received his doctorate from the California-based Pacific Western University.

    But Fang, who had scented blood, then exposed Pacific Western University as a disreputable “diploma mill” that sold academic degrees for a price. He also established that Tang’s claims to having had industrial patents registered in his name were, well, patently false.

    These claims are more than a little embarrassing for Tang, of course. But some of the other companies that Tang started or headed — including entertainment media empire Shanda — find themselves on a sticky regulatory wicket since they listed his fake qualifications in their prospectus while raising funds from the US stock market.

    More dirt came flying out when the mainstream media joined in the scrumfest. Newspapers and magazines put out public lists of Chinese businessmen and professionals and managers who had graduated from institutions like Pacific Western that sold doctorate degrees for dollars. The list included prominent executives, judges, and even lawyers.

    It is this that has set off the frenzied scramble among businessmen and managers to ‘cover up’ details of their dubiously earned overseas degrees, which they were happy to advertise in their public profiles until recently.

    The episode has served to open a can of worms in China, where the market for fake overseas university degrees runs into millions of dollars. Unaccredited overseas universities have even set up shop in China and minted money by doling out degrees for hefty sums.

    One mainstream columnist noted that the Tang scandal had exposed the fact that China as a whole had become something of a diploma mill, and that if there was one “overheated sector” in China it was not the property market but the educational system that churns out an army of “mediocre” master’s degrees and doctorates.

    Curiously, however, on the Chinese-language internet there is also a vigorous counter-campaign in defence of the discredited Tang by people who argue that he is a “self-made successful entrepreneur” and an “inspirational hero” for a generation of Chinese youngsters and should, therefore, not be “picked on”.

    In the end, despite his fake qualifications, Tang, to them, is a “winner” in life. In many ways, the Tang scandal, with its success-at-all-costs formula, epitomises the slippery slope of morality that Chinese society skates on. The fact that although he’s fallen from his pedestal, he is still valorised as a ‘hero’ further points to a disquieting disorientating of the moral compass in some sections of China today.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/column_faking-it-in-china_1410398
     
  4. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^Isn't this a bit like how our Bollywood stars like to tell people that they have a "phoren education", and have got their degrees from Harvard or some other famous place, but we then find out that they were there only a semester or two and dropped out or never attended that school in the first place? :)
     
  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Now Mr Tang Jun is a laughing stock of the public.

    And more of his "alumni" at "Pacific Western University" have been identified - not surprisingly many of them are 'new money' tycoons (one is a top real estate developer).

    In a very well-known chinese novel "Besieged City" after the hero Mr Fang toured around Europe using up his fund he had to buy a diploma of "Claydon Univ." from an Irish crook to prove to his parents the years were well spent.

    Real life is far more funny than novels.
     
  6. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    I am actually surprised by the majority of responses by Chinese polls on this subject. Vast majority call Mr. Tang a fraud and a disgrace to the nation. It is good to know that most Chinese on the street respect credentials while those that run the country do not.
     
  7. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    It should be obvious by now that the views of the CCP government do not match the views of the average Chinese citizen. In many cases, they run absolutely opposite of each other.
     
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    It should be, but there are still many Chinese on the street that go for these fake degrees as well trying to get better jobs without earning it. Diploma mills selling to China are big business.
     
  9. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    S.A.T.A'S Pearls of wisdom :)

     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    It should be, but there are still many Chinese on the street that go for these fake degrees as well trying to get better jobs without earning it. Diploma mills selling to China are big business.
    +++++++++++++
    Tang sounds a smart and savvy guy in every show program. Actually he doesn't need those stuffs IMO.

    now "My success can be replicated" turns out to be "My diploma can be replicated"

    But it's not that easy to fake degrees in China as u fancy. It can be verified by inputting diploma number on line.

    Like a saying goes "Trust, but check".
     
  11. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Armand isn't there any mechanism to verify these they are generally mechanisms bound to verify right.One thing faking degrees is hard to do in india
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The only real success has been from his CEO position of major Chinese companies. The real question is how merit based is becoming a CEO of a Chinese company. It is pretty much a game of cronyism in China. It is who you know more than what you can do. Tang made a bunch of money by selling products with his fake patents which are proven he didn't invent. If that is how you get rich he is a criminal. Now that we know at the very least his PhD and patents are fake, and that he lied to the SEC to raise money from US investors, he is actually a con-artist in my book.
     
  13. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    There isn't much of any verification in China... for anything. People sell what they want and no one checks it. That is one of the reasons it is called the fake China. At least there is one Chinese citizen who cares enough to call these people out.
     
  14. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    It's that commoner-uncommoner hypocrisy. Commoners disapprove of certain things uncommoners do, until they themselves become uncommoners. Commoners (one spouse/partner) totally witch-hunted Tiger Woods as his one mistress after another came to light, which pretty much ruined his career. Yet one can agree that given the same opportunities and social-position, any commoner would be able to maintain a life full of mistresses or consorts.

    Which is why, you will probably see the common Chinese disapprove of that guy, partly also because the laws are enforced much tougher on him, yet given Tang Jun's position any commoner would fake a degree.

    Well, mate, that's not something to do with CCP. Most governments, including elected ones, tend to do things that people are opposed to. For example, our self-declared "pro-commoner" government has successfully ensured the food-security of rodents and cockroaches (food rotting in granaries), while people are made to pay through their noses. The US government spends trillions giving the Military Industrial Complex some livelihood, waging one war after another, usually against public sentiment. Anyway, that's another discussion.
     
  15. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Tiger is ruining his own career by not winning anything.
     

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