"Tue, Dec 30, 2008 AsiaOne 'CEO-beauty' suspected of fraud
A successful Chinese entrepreneur-cum-motivational speaker has come under suspicion for falsifying her track records.
According to the Shin Min Daily News, 23-year-old Dong Siyang has claimed, among other things, to be a graduate from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Her biggest claim so far is that she became a CEO when she was 21. Young, beautiful and successful, she is often dubbed "the CEO-beauty" by the Chinese media.
Ms Dong's book, "21-year-old woman president", was a national bestseller in China and catapulted the 23-year-old into the Chinese media spotlight. Since May last year, Ms Dong has been travelling to schools around China, giving motivational speeches to students. Many youths in China even look up to her as a "beacon of hope and guidance", according to the Chinese daily.
Ms Dong has also been making her rounds in the media, recounting her impressive history and road to success. Her blog, which started in August last year, has received more than 10 million hits.
In her book, Ms Dong stated that she became the President of her Hong Kong-based multi-national company when she was 21, and was once named "the youngest female entrepreneur" in a Chinese magazine, amongst other accolades.
She claimed that she was also named "Asia-Pacific's most promising female entrepreneur" by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI).
The SCCCI does not appear to have a record of Ms Dong Siyang as a member either. When interviewed by reporters, a member of the association said he had no recollection of such a person, and that the Chamber did not have a tradition of giving out awards.
Meanwhile, curious netizens have also been picking apart her biography and list of accomplishments."
An interesting story that if true surely must be one of worst 'disguised' lie after the almost mysterious US$50B Ponzi Scheme run by disgraced investment guru Madoff of New York!
How on earth did the young lady expects to keep the lid on the lie on when she publicly courted scrutiny by the media and others? For that matter it also shows how eager the popular press is in creating a heroine of young and 'beautiful' girl!
Lessons for me are:
1. there are a lot of people wanting to be famous. Some methods are good and some are just down right bad! When you become famous without substance or worst based on lies, how long can it go on? Not very long! You will be found out and your 5-minute of fame and fortune will be ruined! Is this worth it?;
2. the popular media is hungry to create 'stars'. It defied many how someone could be put on a pedestal by public media without them doing the due diligence check. Surely there is a minimal standard of check before stories can be put to print and put to the public for their consumption? Now that the lie has been found out, I wonder how the public press will treat her? Hopefully not tear into her and made her shameless and having to hide in a hole somewhere!;
3. the negative impact and immense disappointment by her admirers, especially the young, will be devastating. It is sad and regretful that she has damaged the trust the young gave so willingly and easily. I hope the hurt youth will not be turned into hard-nose cynical people who no longer trust others do-gooders. When you are 'famous' or 'infamous' you created a big impact on other people's life. You must be careful and act ethically always!
I hope the young lady will survive the scandal and learned her lessons. A moment of fame and a lifetime of misery and shame is simple not worth the original efforts. Do the right thing right from the start is the best strategy! In that case, you do not have to tell bigger and bigger lies to cover your tracks!