warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Chinese Student Jailed For Trying To Bribe His Professor While Carrying A Loaded Air Pistol

Zhao Chen |
April 28, 2013 | 1:19 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Yang Li / BBC
Yang Li / BBC

Yang Li, 26, a student of the University of Bath in UK, was sentenced to 12 months in jail last week after trying to bribe his professor with £5,000 in cash to pass his dissertation while carrying a loaded air pistol.

According to BBC, the innovation and technology management masters student had arranged meeting with his professor on Nov. 23. Li got a 37 percent mark on his dissertation, three marks short of the 40 percent required to pass. 

Professor Andrew Graves, head of the University's School of Management told Li to either resubmit an essay or to withdraw from the course. But Li responded with placing £5,000 in cash in front of him, saying "I am a businessman. You can keep my money if you give me a pass mark and I won't bother you again."

Blake James, Li's defense lawyer, said on court that Li comes from a "affluent family" in China and his father is a respected government official and business man. And he also defended that his client was used to carry large qualities of cash and he carried his gun, which was only for shooting practice, because he did not want to leave it in the car.

The scandal immediately ignited waves of sarcasm on Weibo, China's twitter-like social media platform.

As some micro-bloggers satirized:

"Shame on you! So stupid that you even don't know how to bribe!" 

"Thought you are in China where you can use money and power to address everything?"

"How come that you care so much about your degree while you are so rich? You don't need the degree at all."

"Not a good businessman at all. You should pay someone to write for you, way less than £5,000." 

While he was labeled as one member of the notorious "second generation of the rich and power progeny," speculations about this family were everywhere on Weibo.  But none of his parents have been identified yet. Many micro-bloggers are calling for pooling efforts to "human-flesh search" out his father's identity.

Some are very concerned that the scandal will further put a dent on Chinese overseas students' reputation which has been tarnished for quite some time. 

According to Seattle Times, this March, a Chinese student who killed an American women and injured three when he was speeding through a residential area In Iowa last Novembe, was freed on bail after his family posted a $2 million cashier check. His father's identity was dug out by Chinese micro-bloggers to be a famous Chinese businessman.

Another Chinese national, who was a former University of Iowa student, was sentenced this month to 17 years in prison over conviction of sexual assault on another Chinese female student in US. The guilty's parents were accused of paying off the victims.

Reach the Staff Reporter Zhao Chen here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.