China has always been well-known as being the land of the knock-off, the best place to get your hands on cut-price designer goods! Whether its Gucci shoes you want, or the latest item from Apple’s assembly line – China has always been the place to get your hands on the best imitations around!!
However in recent times, the fakery has been taken to new and unprecedented levels. A few weeks ago Buzz Patrol brought you the story of the Chinese developers who cloned the entire Austrian village of Hallstat and now we bring you the tale of the rice trader Lin Chunping, 41, who faked ownership of a non-existent American bank!
Chunping gained notoriety earlier in the year when several Chinese news outlets reported that he had bought the Atlantic Bank in Delaware for $60m. They heaped praise upon him, his hometown even gave him a prestigious political appointment – an advisory role in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the media reports called his business skills ‘legendary’. His story garnered a lot of attention because obtaining ownership of overseas businesses – especially something like a bank in the U.S – reaffirms China as a growing economic power!
A somewhat audacious lie, considering that there isn’t actually an Atlantic Bank in the state of Delaware…One thing that makes me wonder though – how come none of the reporters and politicians that were praising Chunping thought to question how this rice trader managed to get his hands on the $60m needed to purchase his imaginary bank…Did he have it buried in a field, or tucked up under his mattress perhaps?
A few Chinese reporters did decide to dig a little deeper into Chunping’s claims however and that was when Chunping’s house of cards began to tumble. They could not find an Atlantic Bank in Delaware, nor could they find a bank registration in Chunping’s name in the state.
Chunping is currently under arrest for an unrelated tax-evasion related fraud – (big surprise there then), has had to give up his political appointment and is likely to get in to quite a bit of trouble over his preposterous bank lie!!
When his lies were exposed in March, he told reporters that he had made “exaggerations” in order to elevate his social status and in an attempt to get future opportunities in banking. Hmmmm, slightly more than an exaggeration – wouldn’t you say?? I also think it is pretty safe to say that the infamy he has gained from his fake bank will probably prevent him from ever working in the banking industry again…That is, unless he manages successfully to pull off some identity fraud and manages to slink away into anonymity!!
Chunping’s story is representative of a new trend for audacious hoaxes and fraudulent activity that is becoming sadly prevalent in Chinese society. Chinese officials are constantly exposing fake electronics stores – like the five Apple ones recently discovered in the city of Kunming! Students are often enrolling for what they think is an official university education – but which turns out to be nothing of the sort, but they are not completely innocent either – experts believe that a large number of essays submitted are written by others and that many fake recommendation letters to get into U.S schools.
There are several theories as to why there is so much of this sort of thing happening in China at the moment. Some experts believe that it comes from competitiveness to succeed in an over-populated society. Ethics professor He Huaihong blamed China’s political history for the fraudulent trend, he said: “Jargon left from a century of political revolution is so disconnected with reality that the society is filled with meaningless, empty talk.”
Lin Chunping Makes Up Fake U.S. Bank, Pretends He Bought It (Via Huffington Post)