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University responds to entrepreneur's claims

By Zhou Wenting and Zhang Kun in Shanghai  (China Daily)

08:13, June 13, 2013

Soochow University on Tuesday released information on Chinese-American entrepreneur Fu Ping, a former student, that appears to expose factual inaccuracies in her memoirs.

Fu, co-founder of software company Geomagic, published her memoirs, Bend Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds, on Dec 31 last year.

The book documents her time in China and rise to glory in the United States. However, scholars and Chinese people living in the US, especially those with experience of the period she describes, have questioned her accounts.

The university said in a statement that Fu took English courses, as mandated by its curriculum, which does not tally with Fu's claim in her book that she could only say four expressions in English when she arrived in the US, including "Hello", "thank you" and "help".

"Our curriculum included mandatory college-level English for the first two years," the statement read. "Records from the registrar's office indicate Fu received 'Excellent' (equal to an A) and 88 percent (a B+) in English as a freshman and as a sophomore."

The entrepreneur was enrolled as a student of Chinese Literature at Jiangsu Teachers' College, the former name of Soochow University, in September 1978. She dropped out in March 1982, having failed to earn a diploma or degree, according to the university.

The statement also clarified that thesis topics in the department have always been focused on literature and linguistic studies, and there are no records of the graduation thesis she claimed to have written on the subject of infanticide. The university also expressed indignation about Fu's comments on family planning measures she says were forced on undergraduate students.

"Fu's allegation of 'finger checking' for female students' menstrual periods for family planning purposes is resoundingly false and has unfairly sullied the reputation of female students at this university," the statement read.

Geomagic makes three-D software and technology for designers and engineers. Fu is currently chief strategy officer of 3-D Systems, which acquired Geomagic in February.

She has served since 2010 as one of the 26 members on the US' National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a group that will support US President Barack Obama's innovation strategy, according to the US Department of Commerce.

Fu is also one of the nine 2012 Outstanding American by Choice Recipients, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Fu was born in 1958 in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, and spent her childhood and early adult years in China. She was separated from both her parents for years during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76).

She arrived in the United States in January 1984, and would go on to study at the University of New Mexico and University of California, San Diego, before taking a job with Bell Labs. She completed a master's degree in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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