Summary of Why Chinese People Don’t Take Plagiarism Seriously

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Why Chinese People Don’t Take Plagiarism Seriously summary
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  • Controversial
  • Eye Opening
  • For Beginners


Tencent News writer Li Yan examines the historical, cultural and technical reasons behind plagiarism in China. He doesn’t hold back his criticism of a society that tolerates plagiarism and concludes that the real culprits aren’t the people who’ve built their success on fraud, but their audiences who aspire to the same success and accept plagiarizers uncritically as “life mentors.” getAbstract recommends this analysis to readers with an interest in Chinese society and the historical background behind today’s trends.

About the Author

Li Yan writes for Tencent News. This article was published in Tencent’s Culture section. 



A rise in cases of plagiarism and academic fraud in China is tarnishing the reputations of Chinese universities. But they don’t shock the general public so much. On the contrary, people often fiercely criticize journalists who uncover such cases. At a time when incidents are rising, why do many Chinese view plagiarism as normal and justified?

  • The end justifies the means – China’s economic reforms and policies of opening up its market in the 1970s produced an ideology expressed by the proverb, “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice.” The tolerance toward plagiarism echoes this attitude. In a results-oriented society, people worry less about the underlying rights and wrongs.
  • A focus on science and engineering – After 1949, the state de-emphasized liberal arts in favor of science and engineering, which the Chinese government considered to be more useful to boosting the nation...