A Female BFSU Student Blogger In Trouble

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  Female Student Forced To Quit School For Her Blog Posts?  Tan Renwei.  March 17, 2009.

A Beijing Foreign Studies University female student criticized the Ministry of Education in her blog and was forced to quit school by the university?  This was the biggest news on the Internet yesterday.  The blogger named "Perfume female student" was discussed by innumerable netizens at various websites and forums, including many who are critical of Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Even as some people backed the female student who was forced to quit and condemned the school, there are others who are suspicious just why this 10-day old blog could suddenlly become red-hot.  Why would this female student post so many personal photos in a blog about her being forced to quit school?  A teacher at the university wrote in her own blog that this girl is trying to "hype" herself, but unfortunately her explanation is drowned out in the cacophony.

Beijing Foreign Studies University acknowledged that there was such a student who has dropped out on her will.  The university claimed to have tried to dissuade her.  The reason that she gave for leaving had nothing to do with her blog comments that were critical of the Ministry of Education.

Yesterday, Beijing Foreign Studies University student "Perfume female student" wrote on her blog that she was forced to quit after publishing several blog posts that were critical of the Chinese educational system and the Ministry of Education.  Immediately, the Internet was up in arms.  "Perfume female student" quickly became an Internet celebrity.  At first, the netizens were enraged.  Then they began to have doubts as fellow students revealed another version of the story.

 At 3am early yesterday morning, "Chanel: Beijing Foreign Studies University Perfume Female Student" made the blog post <Mama, I have been forced by Beijing Foreign Studies University to quit school>.  According to her post, the following took place: She wrote several blog posts that were critical of compulsory foreign language instruction in China and joked that Zhao Benshan would be suitable to become Minister of Education.  "I did not imagine that the blog posts would be placed on the front page of the website and drew broad discussion.  On March 12, the matter was reported by a newspaper and then carried by other newspapers and media.  The news report carried this headline: Beijing Foreign Studies University female student criticizes the compulsory foreign language education."

The blog continued to say that the teacher Liu sought her out on March 13: "She said that my blog post made a direct attack on the Ministry of Education and drew tremendous pressure on the school leaders."  "The school asked me to stop updating the blog and delete the previous blog posts, or else I will face serious consequences.  Then teacher Liu took out a copy of the student code and said that I had not registered my internship.  According to the student code, this meant that I had been skipped school for two weeks and thus broke the school regulations.  This was serious enough to get me dismissed from school.  Then she gave me paper and pencil and urged me to write an application to quit school."

She emphasized: "I think that the teacher knows as well as I do that the reason why I was being forced to quit was because I wrote blog posts that criticized the Ministry of Education.  The teacher told me clearly that if I don't blog anymore and I admit to my mistake, then everything is negotiable.  I don't want to go against my conscience in public.  I have made those criticisms already and I will not change my mind.  I don't want to exchange my dignity for a diploma."

This essay was selected by QQ.com for the front page of its blog section.  It was then quickly carried by the other forums.  At Tianya, KDNet and elsewhere, people discussed the case.  On one side, many netizens criticized Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Ministry of Education.  On the other side, many netizens raised doubts about the whole affair.  At the Beijing Foreign Studies University post-bar, many people came for sightseeing.

But just as the story of Chen Yi selling herself to save her mother some years ago, her fellow students quickly produced another version of the story based upon what they know.  Beijing Foreign Studies University German Department teacher Wu Qiongxiao wrote in her diary that this whole affair was a hype.  The teacher was angry and she wrote:

March 11, 2009: A certain female student had not registered at school two weeks after the term commenced.  She was notified in the morning to register at school.  In the afternoon, the student came to school and asked to withdraw on the grounds that she had signed a contract with an agent.

March 12, 13: Over at QQ.com, the blog posted essays critical of foreign language education in China.

March 13: In the afternoon, the student came to the department to effect her withdrawal.  The department told her she can express her ideas but she should consider her identity.  The student said that she never imagined that her blog posts would become so hot.  If she quits now and the media ask her, it may affect the university negatively.  She wrote out an application to withdraw.

March 13: Late night, she made a new blog post: "For reasons that everybody knows about, this blog will not be updated."

March 16: Early in the morning, she made a new blog post entitled: "Mama, I have been forced to quit by Beijing Foreign Studies University."

Many netizens suspect that this was a hype.  If so, then "Perfume female student" has succeeded.

"In her first blog post, she already mentioned Bao Bao and Ah Lan, who are well-known for Internet hyping.  Why was it recommended on the front page of QQ.com?  Why is a female student named "Perfume" criticizing the Ministry of Education?  And was she forced to quit?  Haha, I cannot believe that there isn't a promoter behind this."

"I think that she overestimated herself when she said that she was forced to quit by the Beijing Foreign Studies University just for posting those essays.  She is posting stories and photos.  Next thing you know, she will say that the university has a hit order on her."

This affair has aroused the displeasure of many Beijing Foreign Studies University students.  They said that she applied to withdraw on her own and was not forced by the department.

Some netizens were cynical: "You say that she applied to withdraw on her own.  How can this be?  She is a fourth-year student.  She will graduate in a few months' time."

Another Beijing Foreign Studies University student replied immediately: "This female student has failed many courses.  She did not even pass the Grade Four German language test, nevermind the expert Grade Eight level.  Even if she did not withdraw, she could not graduate.  My guess is that she saw no hope to graduate and therefore she came up with a good-looking excuse."

Our reporter confirmed that the Beijing Foreign Studies University will not issue a diploma unless the student has achieved Grade 8 foreign language proficiency.  "Furthermore, students are not supposed to enter third-year without Grade Four foreign language proficiency, so that department must have bent the rules for her.  Instead, this is how she repays them," said a Beijing Foreign Studies University German Department student.

Another student who claims to a classmate of hers said: "She could not graduate in June along with us.  When we were in our third year, she chose to skip school for a year.  Therefore, she is really not a fourth-year student.  She belongs to the class of 2005.  Many 2003 and 2004 class students are graduated this year because if they have not met the foreign language requirements, they will be held back.  So she could not have graduated this year."

This reporter checked with a Beijing Foreign Studies University teacher and received a confirmation about the academic performance of this student.

Yesterday afternoon, our reporter interviewed Beijing Foreign Studies University Student Affairs Office director Liu Houguang by telephone.

Liu Hougang said that there was such a female student at the German Department of Beijing Foreign Studies University.  She had blogged about foreign language instruction, the education system and other issues.  "We believe that these are her personal views.  It is normal for a student to have her own opinions, ideas and suggestions.  This is very commonplace.  How is it possible for the school to force a student to quit over her blog?"  Liu Hougang said.

The reporter asked whether the school was under pressure from the Ministry of Education for the blog posts.  Teacher Liu laughed and said that there was no pressure whatsoever.  He is skeptical that the Ministry of Education was even aware of this female student's blog.

"It is inaccurate to say that the school forced her to withdraw.  Actually, she proposed to withdraw and the teacher tried to persuade her to stay," said Liu Hougang.

He said that this female student applied for a leave of absence for health reasons in May 2008, and the school agreed but stipulated that she returns to register the next term (Spring 2009).

When the school term commenced on February 27, the German Department noticed that this female student had not reported in for two weeks.  "The German Department contacted her.  The counselor asked to meet with her and discuss her return.  But the student said that she wanted to quit school because of her work situation and her inability to focus on studying.  So she filed an application."  Liu Houguang said.

He also said that after learning about the situation, the teacher asked her to reconsider.  The university is interested in educating a student and protecting her rights to receive that education.  Therefore, it would be better if she returned to continue her studies.

Liu Houguang said that it was a coincidence that the student made those blog posts while in the process of quitting school.  "Her blogging and her withdrawal are two completely different matters."  The university does not see any connection between the two.

"Our present position is that we hope that she would return to the university and continue her studies. "  Liu Hougang said.

(Southern Metropolis Daily)  Teacher Heartbroken At Attack From Female Perfume Student.  By Tan Renwei.  March 18, 2009.

In the now famous "Perfume Female Student" blog, the Ministry of Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University and teacher Liu were named.  Subsequently, the three have been criticized and even verbally abused by some netizens.  Among the three, one is an individual person -- teacher Liu.  Some netizens want to run a "human flesh search" on her.  Yesterday, the Perfume Female Student (real name Wang Tingting) updated her blog and tossed out 12 questions that were aimed directly at teacher Liu.

Did teacher Liu force her to withdraw from school?  Did teacher Liu say "attacking the Ministry of Education is attacking the authority of the government"?  Yesterday, Beijing Foreign Studies University German Department counselor Liu Yuhua was interviewed by our reporter.  She denied the allegation by the female student and she told what happened.  She still hopes that the female student could resume her studies and not be exploited by the people hiding in the background.

Teacher Liu said that before Wang Tingting applied to withdraw, she said that she needed some promotion to achieve fame.  A company had promised to sign her up for 20 million yuan.  However, she did not explain what kind of promotion would be made.  When asked about how her concern for the student was rewarded by this sort of attack, Liu was silent and then said that it was heartbreaking.

In the blog post by "Perfume female student" Wang Tingting, she said that a teacher Liu met her and told her that "attacking the Ministry of Education is attacking the authority of the government" and forced her to resign from school.  This blog post made many people turn teacher Liu into the target of condemnation.  "Attacking the Ministry of Education is attacking the authority of the government" was cited repeatedly by netizens.  Some netizens even called for a "human flesh search" on teacher Liu.

A well-known netizen and commentator H used extreme language in his own blog to insult teacher Liu.  That blog post was widely disseminated.  After receiving his own share of criticisms, this netizen proposed that the saying was more likely to come from a BFSU teacher no matter whether this was a promotion campaign or not and no matter whether the student's withdrawal had anything to do with the contents on her blog.

Meanwhile, over at BFSU, many people who know teacher Liu are very angry.  From the blogs and comments made at Xiaonei (note: an website for university students), it can be seen that the BFSU German Department students have a good impression of teacher Liu and they felt bad for her over these attacks.

Yesterday afternoon, our reporter managed to contact teacher Liu who was mentioned in Wang Tingting's blog.  Liu Yuhua is the counselor for the BFSU German Department.  Just as the students say in their blogs, she has a gentle and calm voice.  She said that Wang Tingting's blog was factually inaccurate.

Liu explained what happened.  On May 30 last year, Wang Tingting applied for a leave of absence due to a viral infection of her heart muscle.  According to the regulations, she was supposed to report back to the school on February 27, 2009 to resume her studies.  But she had not shown up almost two weeks afterwards.  According to the student regulations, she could be treated automatically as having dropped out of school.

Liu was unable to locate Wang Tingting, so she called the family telephone number.  Wang's grandmother picked up the phone and said that Wang Tingting was not dropping out and will resume her studies.

On March 11, Liu made contact with Wang Tingting.  Wang came back to the school that afternoon and told Liu that she does not want to study anymore.  She wanted to apply to withdraw.  Liu counseled Wang that it would be wasteful because she was already at BFSU and should complete her degree.  Wang said that she did not want to study foreign languages.  However, her mother studied foreign language and insisted that she do the same.  Presently, she has a good job as a writer for a company and her mother supports her decision too.  Therefore, she wants to withdraw from school.  Liu saw that she could not dissuade Wang and she also respects personal decisions.  Therefore, Liu let Wang apply for withdrawal.

On March 12, Liu Yuhua was told by colleagues about Wang Tingting's blog being on QQ.com's front page.  The department leader was concerned and told Liu to contact Wang.  Liu said that she wanted to tell Wang that she was free to express her personal opinion but it was inappropriate to use the title "BFSU female student."  During the conversation, there was no discussion about deleting the blog posts and nothing about "attacking the Ministry of Education is attacking the authority of the government."  At the time, she was still trying to persuade Wang Tingting to resume her studies and never demanded her to withdraw.  The facts were completely opposite to what Wang Tingting wrote in her blog.

Wang Tingting told Liu Yuhua that she was about to sign a contract with a company who promised her that they will publish ten of her books totaling 1 million words over ten years.  But before the books get published, she has to be promoted to become a celebrity star first.  Then she will sign a contract in public for 20 million yuan.  The books will sell that way.  Wang said that she did not want to write those blog posts.  Instead, the company planned them and she only carried them out.  Wang refused to name that company.

On the afternoon of March 13, Wang Tingting applied to wirthdraw from BFSU.  Liu was unable to contact the family of Wang.  Yesterday, Wang prevented her family members from contacting the university.  In reality, Wang Tingting is still a BFSU student because she has not yet completed the process of withdrawal.

Liu Yuhua was perplexed as to how she got swept into this storm.  But her main concern is that the student was too naive and may have been misled.  Giving up her studies this way may be bad for Wang.  But if she wants to resume her studies, she is welcomed.

Concerning the personal attacks on the Internet, Liu Yuhua said that the facts are the facts.  "I did right by her and I did what I was supposed to do."  When Wang spoke about promoting, Liu did not imagine that this was what she meant.  When asked about how her concern for the student was rewarded by this sort of attack, Liu was silent and then said that it was heartbreaking.

Famous blogger Song Shinan was originally incensed over this affair.  But a netizen wrote in the blog comments to remind him that the affair is not so simple.  "My friend Big Beard called for a human flesh engine on 'teacher Liu.'  I don't think that is appropriate.  The public opinion should be pressuring BFSU and not a counselor.  The other two targets for public opinion pressure should be QQ blog and the female student (and the company behind her, if one exists)."

Our reporter learned the agency behind Wang Tingting is the Putiantongqiang Culture Company in Beijing.  The company already has artistes such as Baobao and Ah Zi.  Those two so-called "1990's trashy girls" were mentioned in Wang Tingting's first blog post.  That blog post also mentioned Sister Sky Blue, who is the spokesperson Ms. Sun for that company.

Ms. Sun told our reporter that she is indeed Sister Sky Blue.  If our reporter wants to interview Wang Tingting, then he needs to send an outline over.

Over at Xiaonei, BFSU students have organized a campaign to rebut Wang Tingting.  Many students are taking part.  According to some students, Wang Tingting used to be a celebrity at Xiaonei and was voted a "Popular Star."  But they were also surprised, "In the Xiaonei blog that she wrote for many years, she was only worried about guy-gal matters so why is she suddenly opening up a QQ blog to talk about social matters?"  It is also astonishing that these plagiarized essays would be placed on the front page of QQ blogs.  Meanwhile any unfavorable blog comments about "Perfume female student" were being "deleted within two minutes."

Other people pointed out that when Wang Tingting used to reside in the dormitory, she was a smoker in her room and created bad air.  She also liked to wear make-up and high-heeled shoes.  "She even wore high-heeled shoes when she uses the restroom at night.  You can hear her walking down the corridor."

In blog post about "being forced to withdraw from school," "Perfume female student" included some photos for memory's sake.  But these photos form one important reason why many netizens thought that this affair was a promotion gimmick.

According to the BFSU students, these photos were taken by someone who seemed to be a "professional photographer" along with an assistant after Wang Tingting applied to withdraw.  Many BFSU witnessed the filming.

"I personally witnessed the production of the group of photos.  Last Saturday, March 14 between 3:30pm and 4:15pm, she was with several people in the area to the left of the sports gymnasium.  I thought that there was an interview.  Afterwards, I heard her dormitory residents say that this was for memory's sake ... The agency is really very considerate."

"She chose to have the photos taken at the gymnasium which she has never used before.  What kind of memory is that?  What kind of fond memories can you have of a gymnasium that was just inaugurated for use this term?"

(Beijing News)  March 18, 2009

Yesterday, the reporter came to Wang Tingting's room on the third floor of Dormitory Number Four at Beijing Foreign Studies University.  On her bed, there was nothing except for the standard issue blanket.  Her roommate said that she has not stayed there since leaving school more than six months ago.

According to some students, Wang Tingting likes to put on make-up and wear high-heels.  "When she goes to use the restroom at night, she wears high-heels.  You can hear her going down the corridor."  She seldom say hello to fellow students.  She likes to dance.  She was not able to pass the Grade 4 Germany profiency test and she has also flunked courses.

The reporter tried to call the number provided by other students, but that number is not working.  On her blog, Wang Tingting mentioned being with the "90's girls" Baobao and Ah Zi.  Those two became famous after disclosing that they had been subjected to "hidden rules."

The reporter then contacted the agent for the two 90's girls and arranged to meet with Wang Tingting.  According to the agent, she knew Wang Tingting before this.  "Ever since she withdrew from school, many reporters wanted to interview her.  So I arranged her interviews.  No contract has been signed yet, but they have a cooperative relationship.  Wang Tingting also writes for the company.

Q: You say that you were residing at the dormitory but there is nothing on your bed?
A: That's impossible.  The stuff is still there.  Maybe my fellow students put them away.

Q: If you don't like foreign language education, why did you choose to learn German?
A: My mother wanted me to study foreign languages.  But German culture is too strict and not right for me.

Q: What do your parents think right now?
A: My mother can still understand me, but my father was to break off relationship for me.  Many people are accusing me of hyping the affair.  How can I be hyping this type of thing.  This is nothing to be proud of.

Q: Where are they?
A: They came to Beijing on Monday.  My father wanted to get down on knees to beg forgiveness from the university, but I stopped him.

Q: Why did teacher Liu say to you that day?
A: She wanted me to take off the "Beijing Foreign Studies University" label.  Then she took out the student regulations and said that since I had not registered for two weeks, it was an automatic withdrawal.  If you withdraw voluntarily, the school will keep your files, records and certificates.  If the school is forced to dismiss you, you will receive nothing . Then you took out paper and pen for me to write.

Q: The students say that you have lousy grades and you like to wear make-up.
A: I did not pass Grade 4 Germany.  I admit that.  I failed two courses.  I like to wear high heels because I like to look pretty.  I am relatively high-profiled, which makes me controversial.

Q: What do you plan to do next?
A: It occurred too suddenly.  I have thought it through.