Fancy getting a diploma for HK$125 or a bachelor’s degree for HK$1,250 and attending your “university” classes at the International Finance Centre or Harbour City? These are the audacious claims of a fake Hong Kong university, which the government told the South China Morning Post is not registered as an educational institution in the city. The “Suwen University of Hong Kong”, which is selling its diplomas over taobao.com, photoshopped its name and logo onto the facades of local landmarks, International Finance Centre and Harbour City. A photo of Chinese University president Joseph Sung Jao-yiu and his students is seen on the overhead banner of the website. When alerted of the poster, the Chinese University declared firmly that it had no connection at all to the fake institution. In Suwen’s “About” section, there are two photos which appear to be the campus buildings of the “university”. But a closer look shows that the two buildings are Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui and International Finance Centre in Central, only with the Chinese and English characters of Suwen and its logo photoshopped onto the façade of the buildings. The introduction says the “university” was founded in 1989 and now also includes a primary and secondary school section. It says the university has bachelor’s, master’s and honorary master’s degree programmes as well as associate degree programmes. The diplomas are sold on the mainland’s largest online shopping platform taobao.com – which is now itself undergoing scrutiny after state regulators claimed it allowed unauthorized businesses to sell fake merchandise on its site. Suwen touts costs ranging from RMB100 for a “short-term training programme” to RMB1,000 for an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree programme. The university has clearly done some public relations, as an article published on the Hebei channel of the website of state-run news agency Xinhua introduces Suwen as a university with three campuses occupying a total of 299 hectares of areas. The article says the university has 4,700 students and 407 staff members. But a phone call to the university via the numbers given on the site led to a firm providing company registration services. The firm’s spokesman said Suwen was incorporated in 2012 but stopped operation after about a year. A spokeswoman for the Education Bureau said Suwen is not registered with the bureau as a school. She said the Education Ordinance stipulates that the permanent secretary of the bureau shall not register or provisionally register a school with name containing the word “university” or the Chinese characters that mean university or institute. A check on the Company Registry also did not show any information about Suwen. A spokeswoman for the Chinese University said Suwen had posted on its website several photos of Chinese University for its own promotional use without acknowledging the university. “We express profound regret on this and believe such behaviour is absolutely not tolerable,” she said. “We do not have any relationship or any connections with [Suwen].” She added that the university was asking Suwen to remove those photos from its website immediately and would reserve the right to pursue the matter in court.