Fudan University has come under heavy criticism after netizens pointed out that a video published to mark its 110th anniversary bears a striking similarity to promotional material for the University of Tokyo.
The videos tell the story of a female alumnus and her journey through university. Both videos feature a very similar narrative style, with the alumni walking around university in spacesuits, describing their love for studying and how it led them to achieve great things.
The cinematography and choice of music also share much more than merely a passing resemblance. Both videos then conclude with an identical sequence where the alumni remove their helmets and stare into the camera, while captions reveal that both the alumni went on to become astronauts.
Things kept getting worse for Fudan University after another netizen pointed out on their Weibo account that the logo created for the anniversary was an obvious rip off of that used by Apple for their Touch ID feature.
Angry netizens took to Fudan University’s Weibo account to demand that they retract the video and issue an apology to the University of Tokyo for the alleged plagiarism. Many were outraged that a university considered to be a symbol of pride for the Chinese nation would stoop so low.
Fudan University have since apologised for the video and removed it from their website, Weibo and WeChat accounts. They have said that a new, and hopefully more original, video will be commissioned for the anniversary celebrations.
Watch the University of Tokyo’s promotional video:
Compare that to the controversial video by Fudan University:
The timing of this incident could not be any more unfortunate, coming on the heels of criticism by a US presidential hopeful that the Chinese “can’t innovate” and aren’t “terribly imaginative.”
By Dominic Jackson