勵志故事變丑聞:中國富家女650萬美元上斯坦福大學

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Sitting in a plush chair and wearing a white blouse buttoned up to the neck, the young woman looks into the camera, smiles and offers advice about getting into a top American university.


坐在一張華麗的椅子上,身穿一件扣子扣到領口的白色襯衫,這名年輕女子看向鏡頭,面帶微笑,就如何進入一間美國頂尖大學給出她的建議。


“Some people think, ‘Didn’t you get into Stanford because your family is rich?’” the woman, Yusi Zhao, says in a video posted on social media. It wasn’t like that, she says. The admissions officers “have no idea who you are.”


“有些人想,‘你能上斯坦福難道不是因為家里有錢?’”這位名叫趙雨思的女子在一則發在社交媒體上的視頻里說道。不是這樣的,她說。招生官員“不知道你是誰”。


She adds, “I tested into Stanford through my own hard work.”


她接著說道,“我是通過自己的努力考進斯坦福的?!?/p>


The video was recorded in the summer before Ms. Zhao began her freshman year, in 2017. It now stands in sharp contrast with recent news: that her parents paid $6.5 million to a college consultant at the center of an international college admissions scheme, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.


這則視頻錄于2017年夏天,那是趙雨思上大一的前一年。它現在與新近曝出的新聞形成了鮮明對比:據一名對調查有第一手了解的人士透露,她的父母向一名大學顧問支付了650萬美元,而這名顧問則是一場國際大學入學舞弊案的中心人物。


Prosecutors say that the consultant, William Singer, tried to get Ms. Zhao recruited to the Stanford sailing team, providing a fake list of sailing accomplishments and making a $500,000 donation to the sailing program after she was admitted.


檢察官們表示,這位名為威廉·辛格(William Singer)的顧問試圖讓趙雨思被招入斯坦福帆船隊,提供了一系列虛假的帆船成就,并且在她被錄取后向帆船隊捐款50萬美元。


The payment to Mr. Singer was by far the largest known in the case, and the disclosure immediately added Ms. Zhao and her family, pharmaceutical billionaires from China, to a cast of powerful figures swept up in the scandal, including two Hollywood actresses and prominent names from the American legal and business worlds.


這筆支付給辛格的錢,是該案迄今為止已知的最大數額,相關披露瞬間讓趙雨思及其家族——中國的醫藥業富商——成為牽涉這一丑聞的權勢人物之一,其他權勢人物還包括兩名好萊塢女演員,以及來自美國法律界及商界的著名人士。


The new turns in the investigation, including reports that another family from China paid $1.2 million in connection with their daughter’s application to Yale, have illuminated the global reach of Mr. Singer’s operation and the wealthy Chinese families eager to get their children into prestigious American universities.


調查的最新進展,包括有關另一個為女兒申請入學耶魯支付120萬美元的中國家族的報道,顯示出辛格的業務遍及全球,也可以看到富裕的中國家庭讓孩子進入美國名校的熱切。


Mr. Singer was far from alone in trying to profit from soaring demand in China for the elite American college experience. Many Chinese families turn to middlemen, whose fees can be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, like some of their counterparts in the college consulting industry in the United States.


在中國,對美國名校經歷的需求急劇增加,希望藉此獲利的遠不止辛格一人。許多中國家庭轉向了中間人,這些人的收費可達數萬、數十萬甚至更高,和美國大學咨詢行業的那些類似人物差不多。


In China, a dizzying array of companies offer advisory services that range from the legitimate to the openly dishonest — promising, as Mr. Singer did with some of his clients, guaranteed admission to certain schools in exchange for payments.


在中國,一系列令人眼花繚亂的公司提供從合法到公然欺詐的各種咨詢服務——和辛格一樣,他們承諾可以保證被某些院校錄取,以此收取費用。


A private club down the street from the Zhao family home outside Beijing was lined with advertisements for admissions consulting and SAT test-prep services. One company, called Capstone, offered “100 percent university clients accepted into 40 Top U.S. Universities.” Across the street were several businesses offering university consulting and tutoring; one had posted a list of the colleges and boarding schools where its clients had been admitted: Yale, Brown, Andover, Groton.


在北京郊外趙家宅邸所在的那條街上有一家私人會所,外面貼滿了入學咨詢和SAT備考服務的廣告。一家名為“博思通”的公司承諾“美國Top40大學100%錄取”。街對面是幾家提供大學咨詢和輔導的商業機構;一家貼出了其客戶入讀的大學和寄宿學校名單:耶魯大學、布朗大學(Brown)、安多弗學院(Andover)、格羅頓學校(Groton)。


Businesses like these have boomed in China as the number of Chinese international students has steadily grown in the United States. In 2017, there were more than 363,000 Chinese students enrolled in American universities, more than a third of all international students, according to the Institute of International Education.


隨著中國留學生的數量在美國穩步增長,像這樣的商業機構在中國遍地開花。據國際教育學會(Institute of International Education)的數據,2017年,有超過36.3萬中國學生在美國大學注冊入學,占全部國際學生的三分之一還多。


Jack Chen, a marketing executive for the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture, which offers college consulting and tutoring, said companies like his help students get reference letters, write essays and prepare for interviews. They also advise children on how to build up their résumés to include charity work and competitions that separate them from their peers, he said.


杰克·陳(Jack Chen)是東方漢院的市場主管,該機構提供大學咨詢和輔導服務,他說,像他這樣的公司會幫助學生獲得推薦信、寫文章以及準備面試。他們還會就如何豐富簡歷向孩子們提出建議,讓他們將能讓自己顯得與眾不同的慈善工作和競賽納入其中。


Mr. Chen said he knew of consulting companies that could find back doors into top universities in the United States, but he declined to disclose their names. He added that there used to be more of these services, but that American universities had cracked down after several cases of cheating by Chinese students on standardized exams and college applications.


杰克·陳說他知道咨詢公司能夠找到進入美國頂級大學后門,但他拒絕披露那些公司的名字。他還說這類服務以前還要多,但出現幾起中國學生在標準化考試和大學申請中作弊的情況后,美國大學已經進行了嚴厲打擊。


But it was perhaps the college consultants in the United States who had greater sway with Ms. Zhao’s parents, and the parents of the student in the Yale case, Sherry Guo. Both families pursued Mr. Singer’s services after meeting him through financial services companies in California, where he had formed relationships. Ms. Zhao’s family was introduced to him by an adviser at Morgan Stanley named Michael Wu, who the company said had been terminated.


但在趙雨思和耶魯案中的雪莉·郭(Sherry Guo)的家長看來,美國的大學咨詢顧問的本事要更大一些。兩家人是在加利福尼亞州通過金融服務公司結識辛格后選擇了他的服務的,他在該州建立了關系網。趙雨思家是由一個名叫邁克爾·吳(Michael Wu)的摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)顧問介紹的,該公司說已經將這名顧問解雇。


Federal prosecutors have so far charged 50 people in the admissions case, in which wealthy families are accused of cheating on college entrance exams and bribing college coaches to designate students as athletic recruits. Mr. Singer has pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges, and has cooperated with the government in gathering evidence against his clients and others he is said to have worked with.


聯邦檢察官迄今為止已經對入學案中的50人提起指控,涉案的富有家庭被控在大學入學考試中作弊,以及賄賂大學體育教練,把學生指定為體育特招生。辛格已經對詐騙及其他罪名認罪,并且與政府合作,收集針對其客戶及他聲稱合作過的人士的證據。


Prosecutors have not brought any charges against Ms. Zhao or her parents, nor against Ms. Guo or her parents. Both Ms. Zhao, who was a sophomore at Stanford, and Ms. Guo, who was a freshman at Yale, were expelled from their schools.


無論趙雨思還是雪莉·郭或她們的父母都尚未受到聯邦起訴。在斯坦福大學讀大二的趙雨思和在耶魯讀大一的雪莉·郭都已被開除。


A statement sent on behalf of Ms. Zhao’s mother by her lawyer, Vincent Law, said that Mrs. Zhao and her daughter were victims of Mr. Singer’s scheme, and that Mrs. Zhao had believed the $6.5 million was a legitimate donation to Stanford.


代表趙雨思母親的律師文森特·劉(Vincent Law)發表聲明,表示趙雨思及其母親是辛格騙局的受害者,并且說趙雨思的母親相信,那650萬美元是給斯坦福大學的合法捐款。


“This generous act was not only done for the good of the school and its students, but also done out of the love and support of Yusi by a caring mother,” the statement said.


“這一慷慨之舉不只是對學校及其學生的一片心意,也是一位慈母對雨思的愛與支持,”聲明寫道。


It added that Mr. Singer had not offered guaranteed admission to any school and that her daughter had applied to and was accepted by a number of colleges “through ordinary channels.”


聲明還說辛格沒有給出能被其女申請的任何學校錄取的保證,她“通過正常渠道”獲得了幾所學校的錄取。


A visit to the Zhao family home outside Beijing and a review of online records pointed to the world of luxury and privilege that Ms. Zhao had grown up in. But the family also publicly espoused an ethic of hard work and not falling back on inherited wealth.


透過對北京郊外的趙家宅邸的探訪,以及對網上記錄的查閱,可以看到趙雨思是在一個何其奢華和優越的世界里長大。但這家人同時也公開表示贊賞勤勉的作風,不依賴繼承的財富。


A Ferrari, Tesla, Bentley and Land Rover sat parked outside the house, a California-style mansion surrounded by trees and a large hedge, in a gated development called Yosemite Villas.


在一個叫做優山美地的封閉式樓盤內,一座綠樹和巨大的樹籬環繞的加州風格大宅外分別停著一輛法拉利、特斯拉、賓利和路虎。


Ms. Zhao’s father, Zhao Tao, said in a 2015 profile of the family in a Chinese magazine that his children did not have their own fancy cars. “If they want to drive, they have to borrow one from me,” he said.


2015年,在一份中國雜志對這個家族的人物特寫報道中,趙雨思的父親趙濤說,他的孩子沒有自己的豪車,“他們想開還得向我借,”他說。


“I really look down on those kids who don’t rely on their own abilities,” he added. “If I come across one, I give them a dressing down right away. I just can’t stand that type.”


“我非??床黄疬@些孩子不靠自己的能力,”他接著說道,“只要一見到就會訓,壓根很厭惡這種?!?/p>


Ms. Zhao’s older sister, Zhao Yuchen, said in the same profile, “From early on we’ve been taught that the family’s money is the family’s and is none of our business. We can get the best education available, but if we want to live better off, we have to earn it ourselves. When we traveled, the adults went first class, for sure, but we kids had to ride economy in the back.”


在同一篇文章中,趙雨思的姐姐趙雨晨說,“我們從小就是這樣被教育的:家里的錢就是家里的,不關我們的事,可以給我們最好的教育,但是你如果想要過上更好的生活,那就自己去掙。我們一家人出門,大人們肯定是頭等艙,但是我們小孩子們都是坐到后面的經濟艙的?!?/p>


Mr. Zhao is the president and co-founder of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals, a drug company that specializes in traditional Chinese medicines and health supplements. He started the company with his father in 1993, and it has become a family enterprise, employing Mr. Zhao’s brother, wife and elder daughter. A profile in Forbes lists Mr. Zhao’s net worth as $1.8 billion, describes him as a citizen of Singapore, and says he received an M.B.A. from Fordham University.


趙濤是山東步長制藥的董事長、聯席創始人,這是一家經營傳統中藥及保健品的制藥公司。他和父親于1993年創辦的這家公司成了家族事業,趙濤的兄弟、妻子及大女兒都供職于此。在《福布斯》雜志(Forbes)的一篇人物專題中,趙濤的凈值為18億美元,并稱他是新加坡公民,獲得了福德姆大學(Fordham University)的MBA學位。


In a statement released by the company on Friday, Mr. Zhao said: “The arrangements for my daughter’s studies in the United States are a matter for me and my family, and the source of the funds has nothing to do with Buchang Pharmaceuticals, and will not have any impact on the financial situation of Buchang Pharmaceuticals.”


在該公司周五發布的一份聲明中,趙濤表示:“本人的女兒在美國留學事宜,屬個人及家庭行為,資金來源與步長制藥無關,對步長制藥財務狀況不構成任何影響?!?/p>



北京郊外的趙家大宅。 ALEXANDRA STEVENSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mr. Zhao’s father, Zhao Buchang, was himself at one point accused of bribery: He was found by prosecutors to have paid $10,000 in 2002 to a senior official in China’s food and drug administration who was sentenced to death for corruption in 2007.


趙濤的父親趙步長自己就曾一度被控賄賂:他被檢方發現于2002年向中國食品藥品監督管理局的一名高級官員支付1萬美元,后者于2007年因腐敗被判死刑。


Mr. Zhao is also on the board of a group, called Wisdom Valley in English, which says it provides support and advice for Chinese family businesses. Through that group, Mr. Zhao met and posed for a photograph with President Trump and Melania Trump in 2017.


趙濤還是一個名為“慧谷家族”組織的理事,該組織表示會為中國家族企業提供支持及建議。通過該組織,趙濤于2017年與特朗普總統及梅拉尼婭·特朗普見面并合影。


His daughter went to elementary school in Beijing before going to England for the latter part of middle school and for high school, where she attended a prestigious boarding school.


他的女兒在北京上了小學,后來去英國讀了初中后半部分及高中,她在英國就讀的是一所著名的寄宿學校。


As a freshman at Stanford, Ms. Zhao was part of a selective academic-and-residential program called Structured Liberal Education, a yearlong intensive course in Western literature and culture and the history of ideas, according to Rob Reich, a professor of political science who has given lectures in the program.


作為一名斯坦福大學的大一新生,趙雨思參與了一個需經篩選錄取的學習與住宿項目“系統通識教育”(Structured Liberal Education),據給該項目講過課的政治學教授羅伯·賴希(Rob Reich)說,這是一個為期一年的密集課程,內容包括西方文學、文化及思想史。


The 90 freshmen in Structured Liberal Education live together and attend lectures by humanities scholars from across the university. According to its website, the program “encourages students to live a life of ideas in an atmosphere that emphasizes critical thinking and interpretation.”


參與“系統通識教育”的90名新生住在一起,上學校各個系所人文學者的課。根據其網站,這個項目“鼓勵學生在一個著重審辯性思考及闡釋的氛圍中過上一種有思想的生活?!?/p>


She also belonged to an organization called the Stanford Speakers Bureau, which brings high-profile speakers like Jennifer Lopez and Ban Ki Moon to campus.


她還屬于一個名為“斯坦福演講者社”(Stanford Speakers Bureau)的組織,該組織會將詹妮弗·洛佩茲(Jennifer Lopez)和潘基文(Ban Ki-moon)這樣的演講者帶到校園。


“She was very friendly — and very dedicated,” Alexa Ramachandran, 18, a freshman member, said of Ms. Zhao. “She would go around to the dorms, asking if there was anything more she could do for the club.”


“她對人很友好——也非常投入,”18歲的亞歷克莎·拉馬錢德蘭(Alexa Ramachandran),一名新生成員這么評價趙雨思?!八龝酱蠹业乃奚崂?,問她還能為社團做點什么?!?/p>


In the video Ms. Zhao made about getting into Stanford, which is over 90 minutes long, Ms. Zhao said that she rode horses in her spare time, and that she planned to take sociology classes at Stanford and return to China after graduating.


在趙雨思那則關于被斯坦福大學錄取的視頻中,她說到了自己會在閑暇時間騎馬,并且表示計劃在斯坦福大學上社會學課程,并在畢業后回中國。


Ms. Zhao repeatedly exhorted her viewers to work hard and believe in themselves, using her own journey as a lesson. She said that she had been a mediocre student in elementary school and that her first ACT score had been unimpressive.


趙雨思多次勸誡她的觀眾要勤奮,相信自己,以她的經歷為鑒。她說自己在小學成績平平,第一次ACT的分數很一般。


“A lot of people told me, ‘You still want to get into Stanford, but, look, the entry rate for it is just 4 percent — just forget it,’” she said. After a year of strenuous study, she said, she took the test again and got a score of 33 out of 36.


“當時很多人跟我說,‘你還想申斯坦福,那你看看斯坦福錄取率只有4%,你還是算了吧,’”她說。在一年刻苦學習后,她再次參加了考試,36分滿分考出了33分。


“Based on my experience of study, I want to tell you that really anyone can do it,” she went on. “I’m not the kind who was born with a very high I.Q. or who can score 33 or 36 in an exam just like that. But I made my way up step by step, through my hard work.”


“從我的學習經歷來講,其實所有人都可以做到的,”她接著說道,“我也不是天生的IQ特別高的那種,我也不是說一下就能就能考33分,或者36分的那種,我是通過自己的努力一點點升上來的?!?/p>


She decided to aim for American universities, she said, because they evaluated students not just based on test scores, but also on their extracurricular activities and personal statements.


她說之所以想上美國大學是因為,它們不只是基于分數來評估學生,還會基于課外活動和個人陳述。


“It demands not only that you’re a good student, but also that you have personality,” she said. “You need to have a special skill.”


“它既要求你學習必須特別好,而且要求你必須有personality(個性),”她說?!斑€必須有特長”。


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