Controversial Fudan University promotional video taken offline

Updated: 2015-05-29 16:37

By Wu Yan(

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The promotional video, titled To My Light, produced by Fudan University 

 The promotional video, titled Explorer, produced by the University of Tokyo

A controversial video promoting Shanghai-based Fudan University was taken offline after it was accused of plagiarizing a publicity video from the University of Tokyo on Thursday, Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

The video, titled To My Light, was produced by Fudan University, one of the most prestigious universities in China, to mark its 110th anniversary.

It was released on Wednesday on the university's official website, Sina Weibo account and WeChat publicity account, two popular social network platforms, and shared on the Internet at large, but was later criticized by netizens for plagiarizing a publicity video produced by the University of Tokyo in 2014, titled Explorer.

The video was replaced with another one on Thursday afternoon, though its producer denied the plagiarism charges.

To My Light features a female shake-down flight engineer, also a Fudan alumna, wearing a flight suit to visit her old school, while Explorer depicts a female astronaut in a space suit exploring the University of Tokyo.

Both videos have scenes of library shelves, ancient documents, fish bowls, and dancing at a party, and both end with the heroine taking off her helmet.

The pair of videos, which were widely watched and retweeted, have triggered a heated debate online, as many netizens believe they are highly similar, with some convinced that Fudan's plagiarized the other video.

A netizen, named "Guanglaowantong", who said he was a Fudan university graduate of the class of 1981, feels "ashamed" after watching the two videos and said, "The two are almost the same in terms of creative idea, framing, character, artistic expression and voice-over style."

Teng Yudong, producer of the questionable video and deputy director of the publicity department of Fudan Universtiy, apologized for the upset caused by the film on Thursday night, reported.

But he persisted in claiming that the video was an original work which took his production team a month to complete, the report said.

Teng explained that the film was adapted from the real life story of Le Yafei, who graduated from the dynamics department in 2009, and is now one of two female test flight engineers working for China Commercial Aircraft Corp.

His team watched promotional videos from more than 20 universities across the world, and the reference video from the University of Tokyo was one of them, Teng added.

"The team consulted Tokyo University's publicity video in its narrative approach and expression since the shooting began in April, 2015, as the two have a similar theme," said Teng.

"I accept all the criticism and suspicion of our alumni and everyone who cares about Fudan," said Teng, "I feel remorse for the bad influence of the video on our school's image, and I'm sincerely sorry."

A teacher from the University of Tokyo told that the university just heard of the case and is learning facts from its Beijing office.

She also said that the two universities never discussed the promotional videos and have not exchanged ideas over the case yet.