We wrote about Ping Fu earlier this year when she was called out for lying in her memoir, Bend, Not Break. It looks like the author is in the news again, giving an interview with SCMP in response to a lawsuit threatened by Soochow University, Fu’s alma mater, along with some of her former classmates who remain upset over the “falsehoods” in her book.
The author had this to say:
“I would like to issue an open apology for the description that appears about [Soochow University] conducting intrusive physical checks on all female students’ periods for birth control purpose.”
If she stopped there, she would have done herself a favor. But she continues:
“I wrote a memoir and this was my memory of what happened [30 years ago] and how I felt. If someone said they remember differently I’m not going to say they are wrong. It’s just we remember differently.”
That echoes a claim she made in a New York Times interview in February, in which she blamed factual errors in her book on “emotional memory.”
SCMP published a transcript of its Q-and-A with Fu, in which the author adds:
“Different people have different memories. We are talking about something that happened more than 30 years ago. If you ask different people what happened, you may hear different answers. I wrote a memoir and this was my memory of what happened and how I felt. If someone said they remember differently I’m not going to say they are wrong. It’s just we remember differently.”
Sounds like excuses instead of an apology. And that’s a pity. With her success as CEO of Geomagic, a pioneer in 3D printing, Fu could have been a role model for many. Instead, her reputation has been tarnished, and she’ll forever be known as one who lied about the Cultural Revolution. I guess the moral of the story is don’t exaggerate stories in your memoir, especially if you’re writing about shared experiences, where many of those who can — and will — fact-check you have no such problems with “emotional memory.”
Alicia is the co-founder of Prep! Beijing. Follow her @alicialui1.
Bit o/t, but the last time I experienced the above was when I was molested by some attractive and very predatory school girls.
This seems to be a common x’istic of semi-famous Sino types who make the US talk show circuit.
Good comments, Alicia!
Ping Fu’s idea can be translated like this: Soochow University would be happy to get something like a Christmas card from her, and to see her ‘memoir’ with all those false stories continue to sell without correction!
She simply has no idea how to correct her mistakes.
In her ‘memoir’, the tone of her background is made up of stories not belonging to her. If her own experiences are used, the book has to be rewritten completely.
Now she blames her memory for these mistakes. If she realizes how serious her mistakes are, then she would have to agree that her memory must have disqualified her from writing a memoir of this scale.
False memory syndrome can be treated.
Ping Fu is probably just pissed because now her ex-classmates will probably go around the business community and petition against her products.
If this is a really memory problem, then Ping Fu should not have written any memoir in the first place. She deliberately made up those “fantastic tales” for self-glorification and personal gain. Without these fake stories, she would have never stood out among crowds of successful entrepreneurs in America. She has been telling these fake stories for nearly a decade now and masquerading herself as a survivor of the Cultural Revolution while in fact she was a Red Guard and joined the Communist Youth League in 1973.
Ever since the controversy, she has exhibited a consistent pattern of blaming others for her own false claims, throwing under the bus her ghostwriter, editors, reporters, former Geomagic employee, her own cousin who edited her Chinese memoir, etc. Apparently she is running out of people to blame now, so “It’s just we remember differently” becomes her one excuse for all.
Her answers to SCMP questions are simply absurd.
Regarding her non-existent academic degrees in her online profile, she said, “My understanding is that when other publications post my profile on their websites, they may run an automatic Internet search, which presents degrees from other people with the same name as mine, Ping Fu, and these peoples’ degrees get attached to my name.”
Nanjing University states that no student by the name of Ping Fu was ever awarded a Ph.D. from their school. How could Bloomberg get this non-existent information from the Web and attach it to her name? Anyone interested in this issue can go to this thread to see a collection of Ping Fu’s academic fraud:
Ping Fu needs to explain every and each instance of her fake academic degrees.
“In my senior year I was planning to go to Nanking University to study journalism.”
Nanjing University’s journalism major was restored only in 1986 and the department was formally established in 1992. How could she be planning to study journalism there in 1982?
“Given the ambiguities of the Chinese language, what I wrote could be read as general information or something that happened in Suzhou.”
What does the Chinese language have anything to do with her English memoir? In her book, this disgusting finger-checking practice was clearly implemented at Soochow University.
To make up so many disgusting lies for her personal gains is despicable and to cover up her old lies with blatant new lies only shows she has no human decency left.
I worked for Ping Fu and I have always know Ping Fu is a liar. She is a legend in her own mind. she was a brutal manager and took every opportunity to embarrass you in front of others he told me I was possessed. At one time she said she has a PhD with she doesn’t. She caused a lot of people mental anguish, Crazy, crazy, crazy!