Executive says the ability to deceive can signal success

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 July, 2010, 12:00am

Tang Jun, purportedly the highest-paid chief executive on the mainland who has been the centre of controversy over false credentials, said in an exclusive interview with a celebrity magazine on Monday that the ability to deceive the whole world is a symbol of success.

Ten days after he faced accusations from a crusader against fraud in academia, the former president of Microsoft China made his first response in a week to Famous, a magazine run by The Beijing News. The interview was published by the newspaper yesterday.

'Some would say many people in this world depend on blandishments [for success]. One can easily deceive another, but if he manages to deceive the whole world, it's his [perceived] sincerity that helps him do so. It's nothing to deceive one single person, but if everybody's deceived, it's a testimony to your ability. It's a symbol of success,' Tang said when he was asked if he considered sincerity a factor in success.

Tang said people criticised him because they don't know the truth. He refused to say when he would reveal it, but it would not be in the next two weeks.

Tang did not show up for a scheduled interview with Shanghai's China Business News television station on Monday night, local news portal Xinmin.com reported yesterday.

Dr Fang Shimin - known in Chinese cyberspace as Fang Zhouzi, the academician who uncovered the scandal - also wrote in his Sina.com microblog about Tang's failure to keep the appointment, saying: '[Tang] refused to face the camera on short notice. He thinks it's not a good time to explain. The two questions I prepared for the anchor have apparently been wasted.' The two questions were how Tang received a doctoral degree from Pacific Western University when it has only one office and no campus or any classrooms, and whether the 'research work' Tang claimed to have done on his resume was helping with website maintenance and sending e-mails, Xinmin.com said.

After Fang had publicly questioned on July 1 Tang's doctorate from the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, which Tang claims in his 2008 biography, the 'emperor of wages' tried to clarify last week on Tuesday, saying the doctorate he holds is not from Caltech, but one from California-based Pacific Western University, and he also sent an electronic copy of his certificate to several media outlets.

But the media has taken the lead in exposing several so-called diploma mills in the United States. On May 10, a report by the Chicago Sun-Times revealed Pacific Western University was not accredited by the US government and sold degrees for a fee.

Once the chief of Microsoft China and China's online game giant Shanda and now the president and chief executive of the New Huadu Industrial Group, Tang had created an image of a persistent pursuer of success for numerous business school students and business managers.