July 25, 2010

China Successfully Fights Off Invaders in 20XX

With the following weapons in its arsenal, China will achieve resounding victory

1. the experience that real estate developers have accumulated over the years crushing stubborn nail houses
2. sandstorms blocking satellite views
3. dried up rivers to prevent ship mobility
4. toll roads and hospitals promising to extract every single penny
5. police stations specializing in bone crushing
6. drainage oil, melamine and other chemical substances
7. Sister Furong and Sister Phoenix

Those within the GFW: http://www.56.com/u49/v_NTM2MDg2NzA.html

July 15, 2010

Millionaire Aids Capture of Robbers With Personal Helicopter

Translation: 遭抢包富豪动用私人直升机追贼, originally from Guangzhou Daily
Mr. Liu in Sichuan, May 2008

Mr. Liu's helicopter

Yesterday evening around 6 PM, Mr. Liu drove by Changping Town Tian Village (常平镇田美村) in his Porsche. His son and an plane pilot were the two other passengers on the car. When Mr. Liu witnessed two men on a motorcycle snatching a pedestrian's bag, he immediately revved up the engine and gave chase.

Realizing that someone was determined to be a "busybody," the robbers accelerated to attempt escape. Due to concerns for the safety of many pedestrians, Mr. Liu refrained from extreme motions. Three kilometers down the road, the two vehicles found themselves in an area with less people. The Porsche finally ran the motorcycle down.

The two robbers immediately split up, abandoning their motorcycle. Mr. Liu got off the car and went after the driver, while his son and the pilot tried to catch the bag snatcher. The second robber was caught near a hill.

Meanwhile, the just-arrived policemen and citizens joined Mr. Liu in the chase. When they were about to make a capture, the robber jumped into a big pond.

Later during the news interview, Mr. Liu said that he shouted at the robber and told him to come out of the pond. The robber would not. Mr. Liu then remembered his personal helicopter and requested police permission to use it.

"I piloted the helicopter close to the water surface. The strong winds could create waves which hopefully would force the robber to leave the water." Mr. Liu recalled. The robber stubbornly refused to come ashore even as he choked on the helicopter-induced waves and had to cover his mouth with clothes. Finally Mr. Liu found a 6--meter long pole. He flew over the pond once again and used the pole to herd the man to solid ground.

However, the robber somehow wrested the pole from Mr. Liu and attacked the helicopter with it. Mr. Liu was afraid of damage, so he finally gave up on the helicopter idea.

By this time, he had already spent more than 20 minutes in standoff against the robber.

Though the helicopter could not do the job, Mr. Liu still didn't give up. He brought out his private motorboat. By this time, a boat sent by the Changping Police Department had also arrived, along with more local law enforcement officers and firefighters.

After some discussion, the police decided on double envelopment. Experts maneuvered the boats to surround the robber. They called the man to surrender while seeking opportunities to capture him. The criminal turned to be a good swimmer and an elusive catch.

The police was afraid of accidents that could result from a forceful capture. So they bided their time. After an hour-long stalemate, the police special task force spotted a chance and caught the robber at 9PM.

Mr. Liu owns several hotels in Changping Town. He is also the first person in Dongguan to obtain the license to operate a delta-wing aircraft. Mr. Liu personally owns 2 helicopters, and the roof tops of his hotels have helipads.

Mr. Liu enthusiastically participate in activities to improve public welfare. In the aftermath of 2008 Sichuan earthquake, he served on the frontline of disaster relief as the Vice President of Changping Chamber of Commerce. He also mobilized fellows members of the Chamber of Commerce to donate to the quake-hit areas.

Stock Prices Fall 16% Due to Media Revelation of Carcinogenic Substances in Bawang Shampoos

Translation of 媒体曝霸王洗发水含致癌物质 股价大跌16%

According to Hong Kong news reports, three products from B&W International Holdings Limited have been found by Hong Kong notary agency to contain dioxane, a chemical classified by the U.S. as carcinogen (The names of these shampoos are 中草药洗发露, 首乌黑亮洗发露, and 追风中草药洗发水, in case anyone uses the products). As of July 14, 11:53 am, the negative news have caused a 16.16% plunge in Bawang stock share price to 4.93 Hong Kong dollars. Bawang CEO Wan Yuhua (万玉华) responded by saying that most other shampoos on the market likewise contain the chemical. She stressed that dioxane in low levels is harmless to the human body.

Bank of American and Merrill Lynch issued a research report on the incident. If the media accusations pertaining to dioxane are true, then sales of all Bawang products and even the brand image will be negative affected. Today Bawang has to face the backlash from the market.

Part of a July 16 report 冯海宁:霸王“致癌门”更是“检验门”

Only a few Shenzhen stores have decided to pull Bawang shampoos off the shelves. Bawang claimed in a overbearing statement that there will be no recalls or returned products. Despite of Bawang's vigorous denials of its shampoos being carcinogenic and that most stores continue to keep them in stock, the public is not buying the claims. According to poll results from a portal website, 60% of the netizens believe that Bawang shampoos cause cancer, and 70% say they will stop buying the products.

It is obvious at this point that Bawang will try to obtain exonerating chemical test results from a third party.

July 08, 2010

Why Diploma Fraud Won't Be the End of Tang Jun?

The debate is still raging, but essayist and blogger "hecaitou" (和菜头) has already made his prediction of the outcome.

Translation: 为什么文凭打不倒唐骏

The argument over Dr. Tang Jun's (唐骏) academic credentials is sad, because his scholarly record merely is an insignificant detail in the grand scheme of things. Whether Tang Jun obtained his Ph.D. from PWU or from CIT's computer science department (better known as Caltech to some) does not matter. The real issue is this: why is there always a market for people with a tall tale, and why does the public proceed to deify them?

Yan Xin (严新) claimed that he could direct a missile or put out a forest fire in the Greater Khingan, with thoughts alone. Mou Qizhong (牟其中) talked about his plan to convert plateau to green grassland by blasting the Himalayas. And our very familiar Hongzhi Li --according to his boasts, so many Buddhas had fallen and died while trying to climb high enough to see him. There are also the quack doctor who treated everybody with sodium sulfate, the farmer who produced fake photos of endangered tigers, and the just now exposed doctor who proclaimed mung beans to be a cure-all. The past few decades have spawned an endless string of niubi criminals. It was an era during which speculators and opportunists commanded great forces and bewitched the hearts.

To be fair, compared to other niubi criminals, Tang Jun has more substance under his belt. Maybe Bill Gates didn't enthusiastically invite him to stay for another term, but Tang had indisputably been the president overseeing the then relatively small China market. If time could roll back, Chen Tianqiao (陈天桥) might not think that Shanda's IPO needed Tang Jun, but Tang still became a president and director of Shanda. Even now Tang's position in Newhuadu Industrial Group is real. By today's standards, Tang Jun is a success story in the business circle. He continuously received promotions, not demotions. What more can a career person ask for?

After admitting his success, you should then come to realize one thing: diploma is not Dr. Tang Jun's Achilles tendon. Since the Chinese are a strictly pragmatic people, neither PWU nor Caltech affects how the public view him. In fact, a PWU diploma is better [than a Caltech diploma]. Having no diploma would actually be perfect--as one of the beloved Chinese proverb says, "birth is much but accomplishments mean more." In a nation where a majority of the population do not have bachelor's degree and where academics directly affect job placements, an illiterate hero will be welcomed by most citizens as one of them. The longer those intellectual elites dwell on the diploma, the more support this illiterate hero will receive from the masses. A prolonged diploma debate will only make more people sympathize with Tang. Many of Tang's attackers do not understand this, because they have never lived among the masses. They don't understand how people think, and they can't emulate common thinking.

Instead, one valid question could be: did Tang lie? Did he lie on his resume? Did he lie in his autobiography? (see how Tang tries to get out of this one and if you can read Chinese, visit 蓝狮子与唐骏博士之绝配 to read what one writer said about his personal dealings with the publisher) Did he lie during his speeches and promotions? People very much desire an answer.

It is more important to focus on the crux rather than the minutiae of the problem. All great scam artists religiously follow the teachings of Wei Xiaobao: they will tell the main event truthfully but embellish it with such details, and they are not afraid to lie. Their bluffs blow only when these embellishments begin to dominate their lives. It is like that intolerable dish where the carved carrot decorations cover the entire plate. But even when people question the details, as long as the main story holds true, the player can still go through the crisis unscathed.

Luckily, Chinese are a very self-conflicting breed. They are extremely utilitarian and pragmatic, yet they can be as innocent as the Puritans. They respect xiaoxiong (枭雄, a fierce and ambitious person; for example, Cao Cao and Napoleon; Hitler also qualifies). Even if the success came through illegal and dishonest means, these xiaoxiong will be praised as "skilled" and "knowing the ways". At the same time, Chinese impose harsh standards on mainstream heroes, who must exhibit almost perfect morality, for there is zero tolerance for any small defect. Tang Jun is a xiaoxiong pretending to be a hero, so the only force that can cause damage to him is morality: the issue of integrity cannot be circumvented, and it is the only point on which his attackers have a stand.

I am very pessimistic concerning the outcome. There will be no solid results, because too many successful people switch between their xiaoxiong and hero personas. When the hero front is questioned, challenged, and defeated, they immediately become xiaoxiong and emphasize their accomplishments. Suddenly the questions and investigations just become a matter of "the loser is always vilified." Everybody then concedes that he is indeed "skilled" and stops obstructing his road to money and prosperity. Think back to the last few decades, which single public figure was severely punished for lying? When did the shit digging ever achieve anything? Did Richard Li's fake academic records affect his company? Or did Bruno Wu's Sun Media investments fail due to his purchased degree?

There has been one exception to the rule. The man went to jail. His name is Zhou Zhenglong (周正龙). And he is a farmer.

Only till this point have we come to the real questions that must be asked in the wake of Tang Jun news:

Why do niubi criminal succeed more easily?

Why are lies more profitable than integrity?

Why is the society so fixated on success and fortune?

Why are lying, bluffing, and niubi the only routes to more opportunities?

If a society were truly founded on principles of equality, and the procedures fair, will scam artists still succeed?

Does a dishonest alliance exist? So that nobody willingly exposes the fraud because he either profits from the lies or does not want the bigger embarrassment of admitting he has been duped? Or, perhaps, there is a consensus: integrity means nothing.

Finally, why is our media busy glorifying these public figures, why do our universities open doors to them, and why do we drink up the stories told by these con artists, only waking up when the tales become intolerably bizarre?

I think we must be missing something, lost something along the way. Our lives are much sweeter because of this loss, since a fixation on success distances us from the reproaches of the conscience. Once pragmatism gives us the boldness to scale all ethical fences, we achieve great victories one after another. Now tell me: do you really care about whether Tang Jun had lied?

Tang Jun, Yan Jun, any fast running horse is a fine horse (Note: a pun on Jun, which means good steed). Amen!

Related Post

More CEOs Drawn into Tang Jun's Fake Academic Credentials Scandal

July 07, 2010

More CEOs Drawn into Tang Jun's Fake Academic Credentials Scandal

Translation: 唐骏“学历门”事件升级 牵出一群造假老总, originally from Yangcheng Evening Post (羊城晚报)

Tang Jun, former president of Microsoft China (Source)

Tang Jun (唐骏), former president of Microsoft China and current CEO of Newhuadu Industrial Group (新华都), has been facing a string of accusatory claims that he falsified his Ph.D. credentials. The accusations came from Fang Zhouzi (方舟子), a popular science writer who is known for combating academic misconduct, and caused a huge stir on the internet. The event further escalated yesterday when Tang Jun acquiesced to an interview by CNR, during which he openly responded to doubts and questions for the first time. However, as late as last night, Fang Zhouzi and others continued to examine Tang's academic records. An alleged Tang's school roster also began circulating, and it shows that many more Chinese public figures graduated from the dubious Pacific Western University. Their educational backgrounds are likewise suspicious.

Doubt 1: Is his doctoral degree real?

The whole controversy started on July 1st, when Fang Zhouzi wrote on his sina microblog that Tang Jun never obtained any degree from California Institute of Technology (as was supposedly written in Tang's book My Success Could Be Duplicated). "I could not find Tang Jun among the list of graduates from CIT's computer science department. Nor was there anyone whose last name was Tang. U.S. Ph.D. dissertation databases do not contain his thesis either."

After a few days of silence, Tang Jun told the CNR reporters that "I never said I graduated from CIT with a Ph.D, but I had done a bit of research there. I do have a doctoral degree, just not from CIT."

Where, then, did Tang Jun get his Ph.D.? Tang claims that he was in a Ph.D. program in Japan for five years, only to abandon everything and head to the U.S. right before his defense. "I ended up at a private university called Pacific Western (PWU), did some research, and got my degree. I have diploma to prove it."

Doubt 2: PWU is not a real university?

Tang Jun claims that PWU is an accredited university. Can he tell us who his thesis adviser was, what his research topic was, and where it was published? --Fang Zhouzi

Fang Zhouzi relentlessly pursued the subject concerning Tang's PWU degree. According to one of his microblog updates yesterday: "Tang said that he graduated from PWU, but this is a notorious university known for selling diplomas for money. It first registered in Hawaii, but never received any accreditation from relevant U.S. agencies. Due to repeated scams, PWU was sued by the State of Hawaiian and was forcefully disbanded." Fang Zhouzi pointed to a survey by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which listed the prices of PWU diplomas as follows: bachelor's, $2,295; master's, $2,395; doctor's, $2,595, all of which must be one time payments. "What's the difference between Tang's purchased 'doctoral degree' and a fake degree? Neither is recognized by society or any institution. The person cannot legally claim that he has a doctorate."

Doubt 3: Fabricated patents

I invented this thing. I produced all the original data, software, and hardware. Why can't I say it is mine? --Tang Jun

Additionally, Fang Zhouzi cast doubt on the two patents that Tang claimed to own. One was for a camera that produces photo stickers and the other for a karakoke rating machine. "First, all relevant English documentation declare that the camera was invented during 1994-1995 period by a 30 year old Japanese woman named Sasaki Miho. Second, the patent for the karaoke rating machine was filed by Pawate, and later by Tanaka and Wakamoto. Tang does not have any patents under his name."

Tang Jun responded by saying "I came up with the camera prototype" but that he sold the prototype to a Japanese company. "I never said I filed the patent application, but the prototype was created by me. And this is always what I say during my speeches." As for the karaoke invention, Tang explained, "I got the technology and the design ideas while in school. Then I put together the first model. At the time, I was negotiating with a Korean company through an intermediate company, eventually filing for patent through this Korean company. I believe I have an claim to the patent over its entirety."

Tang Jun's scandal implicates Shanda

The statements Tang Jun made about his Japan sojourn during the CNR interview meant he never obtained his degree in Japan.

This portion of the interview led the public to question Shanda's 2004 prospectus for NASDAQ. Tang Jun was the CEO of Web Development Division at Shanghai Shanda (盛大) from 2004 to 2008. On his microblog, Fang Zhouzi pasted an excerpt from Shanda's prospectus, "Mr. Tang holds a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from University of Pacific Western, a doctorate degree in electronics from Nagoya University, Japan."

"Tang Jun claims that because he felt regret for not receiving a degree in Japan, he wanted to get a degree from an American university. But Shanda wrote in its prospectus that Tang Jun graduated from Nagoya with a Ph.D. This is supplying stockholders with false information." Fang Zhouzi said.

Shanda has not responded as of the time of this report.

PWU scandal involves many

Just when Fang Zhou was posing questions about Tang's academic credentials, Chairman (surname Yu 禹) of the Board of Directors at some Beijing investment twittered: exposing the falsehood behind one's credentials destroys one's livelihood; it is a "mean-spirited act." Yu's message was very sympathetic towards Tang Jun. Netizens soon discovered that PWU also figures prominently in this Chairman Yu's vitae.

The scandal then took a turn for the dramatic. A netizen somehow obtained a directory of all those who graduated from PWU's business school with a Ph.D. On this list, Yangcheng Evening News reporter saw many CEOs, presidents, senior directors, seniors directors of publishing agencies, as well as directors of research institutions. Some netizens thought this to be amusing, [for, by attracting attention to himself,] Dr. Yu managed to expose all his fellow schoolmates. The reporter is currently verifying the authenticity of this list.

If you can access this LinkedIn page, it confirms that Tang Jun was not being forthright when he told the reporter "I never said I graduated from CIT with a Ph.D, but I had done a bit of research there. I do have a doctoral degree, just not from CIT." (unless this was a profile set up by someone else in Tang's name)

Related Post

Why Diploma Fraud Won't Be the End of Tang Jun?

July 03, 2010

SARFT Spokesperson Calls for a Stop to Sister Phoenix and Other Vulgarities

Translation: 广电总局发言人:凤姐等低俗文化应坚决叫停

Zhu Hong (朱虹), director and spokesperson of the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), visited at Huazhong Normal University a few days ago to head a special topic seminar for teachers as well as students. In this "The Responsibilities of Media" seminar, Zhu Hong said that all vulgar TV programs must end.

Zhu Hong defined how TV programming should be. One type leads to correct high culture. An example would be Chinese Inspiring China (感动中国), a 7-year old "spiritual" CCTV show that yearly compiles a list of 10 Chinese citizens who have touched the heart of China. The other type comprises all the popular shows, like Xiao Shenyang's performances. Outside of this scope, "Sister Phoenix" (or Sister Feng) and other instances of vulgar culture should be resolutely halted to prevent further spread in society. Zhu Hong admits that many problems exist in TV programming presently, one of which is rampant cloning. He used Super Girl and Liu Chen's magic shows to illustrate the point: as soon as one show becomes a hit, other stations fall over themselves copying and emulating. The audience soon tire of watching the same thing.

Zhu Hong also commented on the now quite popular dating shows. Born out of the society's needs, they had positive meaning in the early days. As time went on, however, such shows digressed. One must be vigilant and guard against such deterioration. TV stations should not promote materialism or expose details of private lives just to attract viewers.

When the discussion turn to regulation and censorship, Zhu Hong pointed out that every country has its own department doing the same thing but perhaps in a different manner. The government must be proactive, because if left unchecked, negative culture factors will eventually cause the situations to go out of hand.
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