Tang Jun “Fake Credentials Gate”, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Tang Jun.

Tang Jun.

Tang Jun, the well-known and successful former President of Microsoft China and Shanda Interactive Entertainment, was recently accused by Fang Zhouzi (aka Fang Shimin), a “crusader” against scientific and academic fraud, of falsifying his academic credentials and also patents. Specifically, Fang Zhouzi has provided evidence to show that Tang Jun did not earn a PhD degree from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). When Tang Jun responded by saying that he has never claimed that anywhere, Fang Zhouzi showed excerpts from Tang Jun’s autobiography proving that he has. When Tang Jun showed that he heard his PhD from Pacific Western University, it was discovered that PWU is not an accredited institution and sells fake diplomas. Tang Jun has also threatened to sue Fang Zhouzi for libel.

More information and English translations about this news:

  • “‘Fraud cop’ accuses IT big wig, legal action threatened” (Global Voices Online)
  • “More CEOs Drawn into Tang Jun’s Fake Academic Credentials Scandal” (Veggie Discourse)
  • “Tang Jun PK Fang Zhouzi” (EastSouthWestNorth)
  • “Why Diploma Fraud Won’t Be the End of Tang Jun” (Veggie Discourse)
  • “Faked credentials, a ghost-written autobiography, and a diploma mill” (Danwei)

What do Chinese netizens think? There are many who are critical but also many who are supportive:

Comments from Tianya:


I have a copy of Tang Jun’s book, and flipping through it several times I didn’t see him saying he has a PhD from California Institute of Technology. He has never said that before, so where did this false claim come from?

Tang Jun being able to enter Microsoft in America demonstrates that the educational credentials he provided to Microsoft stand up to an American company’s inspection.

On the other hand, Fang Zhouzi talks a lot of nonsense about China’s traditional Chinese medicine while praising America’s genetically modified foods. This kind of American butt crack licking “slave of the foreign” are not uncommon amongst the Chinese circles in America. Just because they have an American diploma, they zhuang bi in front of Chinese people, as if an American diploma makes them one level higher than Chinese people.

Now that America’s scientific community has begun reflecting upon genetically modified foods, isn’t this “slave of the foreign” Fang Zhouzi embarrassed?

Had Fang Zhouzi been like Tang Jun and found a job with a large company like Microsoft, he wouldn’t have been unable to survive there and be forced to return to China to survive by fighting fraud.


What part of the Heavenly Kingdom doesn’t create fake things? I’m waiting to see what will happen to Dr. Tang.


Hahaha, yet another Chinese idol fallen.
Gates did not graduate from Harvard, yet he did not go buy a diploma. This is the difference between white people and Chinese people.
No wonder one of the three Western Enlightenment thinkers Montesquieu said Chinese people are the world’s most treacherous/deceptive people.


China’s media only knows to create false news. The truth still requires us ordinary people to expose.


My idol Tang Jun lost my respect the moment he advanced into real estate, which is when all these unfortunate things began happening.


Fang Zhouzi at any rate is fighting fraud, whereas Tang is committing fraud. Society needs integrity and fairness. I applaud Fang Zhouzi and am embarrassed for Tang.


Why do Chinese people obsesses over that piece of paper? What can a piece of paper prove anyway?!

Chen Fashu (Board Chairman of Newhuadu Group) with Tang Jun (President and CEO of Newhuadu Industrial Group Co., Ltd.)
Chen Fashu (Board Chairman of Newhuadu Group) with Tang Jun (President and CEO of Newhuadu Industrial Group Co., Ltd.)

Comments from Mop:


There is no necessary correlation between one’s educational background and ability.


Why is Tang Jun being targeted?
Sigh~Those [responding] below, think clearly…
There are some people who have ill intentions. Even if Tang Jun’s elementary school diploma was like this, his achievements have already proven enough.


Actually, what use is educational background? As long as he has the ability, it should be enough. It isn’t as if he is a civil servant, what bullshit use is his educational background?


I think everyone should calm down over this matter! Educational credentials does not represent ability. If he has the ability but not the educational credentials, then maybe his ability would not be so quickly discovered. If he had the educational credentials but not the ability, it would also be difficult for him to be the Tang Jun he is today! When everyone are looking at what happened, they are overlooking the results Tang Jun has produced. Did he harm society or murder anyone for money?  I still think, no matter whether real or fake, if your talents are not being recognized, there is no harm in creating false evidence as a stepping stone to success!


Sigh, look clearly, without these fake educational credentials, would he have had the opportunity to get the kind of achievements he has today? Hehe.


Exaggerating [one’s credentials] is trying to create opportunity, but he still had the ability to grasp that opportunity…we have to look at things objectively. It cannot be denied that he lied to many people, and the exposure of this matter will definitely have a negative impact upon the young generation. Yet it also cannot be denied that his ability was enough for all of the positions at the companies he hoodwinked…


This news is boring.

How could a person without ability have made it to where he is today?

The Tang Jun now, even if he never went to university, would still have lines of people wanting his business.


Broadening horizons, broadening horizons! This bunch of people faking like this don’t even feel ashamed? However, the country is like this anyway: So many people only look at the diploma.


Gates doesn’t even look at educational background when interviewing people, only asks questions. Proving that Tang still has ability.

What do you think? Do you think Tang Jun’s diploma is not so important because he has demonstrated his ability and talent? Do you think it is okay to exaggerate or lie to get opportunities?

Tang Jun shaking hands after being appointed CEO of Xin Hua Du.

Opportunities. chinaSMACK personals.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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