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Film academy probes PhD qualifications of actor
2019-02-22 

The Beijing Film Academy has launched an investigation to determine whether online claims of plagiarism against one of its recent PhD graduates, actor Zhai Tianlin, have any merit, reports the Beijing Youth Daily.

Chinese actor Zhai Tianlin(left) performs during the China Central Television Spring Festival Gala, February 4, 2019. [File Photo: VCG]

Chinese actor Zhai Tianlin(left) performs during the China Central Television Spring Festival Gala, February 4, 2019. [File Photo: VCG]

Zhai Tianlin, who recently performed on this year's Spring Festival Gala on CCTV, has been forced to issue denials through his management, after claims he may have plagiarized a paper which was published in an academic journal in August of last year.

A blogger on Weibo claims the paper registered an over 40% similarity score when uploaded and analyzed through an online academic library known as China National Knowledge Infrastructure.

This, along with the online sleuth's inability to find Zhai Tianlin's PhD dissertation online, prompted the blogger to publish the results of the "investigation," which eventually gained enough traction among internet trolls and other commenters to force Zhai's management to issue a formal denial.

Chinese actor Zhai Tianlin. [File Photo: VCG]

Chinese actor Zhai Tianlin. [File Photo: VCG]

The statement from his studio, categorically denying the charges, also notes the 32-year old's dissertation is not yet online, but will be uploaded to China's online academic library sometime before this summer, which the studio says is in-line with the standards set out by the Beijing Film Academy.

However, the publicity surrounding the online claims has prompted the Beijing Film Academy to announce it will review Zhai Tianlin's papers to determine if there is any substance to the plagiarism allegations.

Meanwhile, Peking University, where Zhai Tianlin is now enrolled as a post-doctoral candidate, says it will wait until the Beijing Film School completes its review before making any comments, or taking any action, on the actor's future at that institution.

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