BEIJING (AP) — In a China awash with fake iPhones, pirated DVDs and knockoff Louis Vuitton bags, rice trader Lin Chunping took fakery to a whole new level: He invented a U.S. bank and claimed he bought it.
The little-known businessman shot to fame in January when state media reported that he had taken over Delaware-based Atlantic Bank. The unprecedented acquisition brought him praise: His hometown gave him a prestigious political appointment and state media called his business experience "legendary."
But there is no Atlantic Bank in Delaware. Lin later admitted making "exaggerations" to raise his social status.
His spectacular rise and fall shows how fakery has evolved in China, morphing from the manufacture of copycat goods to entire institutions and careers.