Ping Fu Controversy III – 3D Printing, the Next Solyndra?

The Saga of Ping Fu Controversy has entered the stock market and the national political scene.

Jan. 22nd, 2013, when i first heard the name “Ping Fu”, while Tina Brown was recommending her book on NPR, i spotted one fraud who was fabricating stories probably for money and fame. But i had no idea there was a much bigger fraud hiding behind Ping Fu’s.

Feb. 14, 2013, Citron Research published a report to warn bubble in 3D printing industry. One day earlier, during his State of Union speech, President Obama identified 3D Printing as one of his major investment to move Manufacture job back to the US.

Citron’s research has some interesting points on the reality of 3D Printing technology (difficult, expensive equipment far from mass market ready, and only capable of producing trivial plastic trinkets one could get from dollar-stores mass produced in China today), outdated technology (20+ years old), and fraudulent claims by the industry’s hyping PR team. The report also has a nice paragraph on Ping Fu:

It is obvious that Obama has been listening to Ping Fu, a representative for 3D Systems (CEO of a tiny software company acquisition target) as she has become a press darling and a mascot for the whole 3D printing industry. We are not going to use this column to disparage Ping Fu, but she is not shy of promoting herself or her industry beyond boundaries of realism

A disclaimer about Citron Research itself:

Citron Research is a famous stock shorting website and has been famous for indentifying companies that later became targets of regulatory interventions.

Anyone else remembered Solyndra at this point? Why is Obama Admin so easily cheated? again and again?!

I was puzzling earlier why motley fool(a stock peddling site target consumers) bothered to get itself dragged into a book review fight and defending Ping Fu by slandering amazon book reviewers as “paid bloggers who virulently defend China’s reputation …”

Now it all makes sense.

What a great plan on paper!

  • Ping Fu, the press darling, will be the spokesperson, as the double minority, to do the White House lobbying, with the help of her fabricated tales of her miserable childhood during Cultural Revolution tailor made for innocent western audience, and can earn sympathy from the First Lady. She will publish a book, get on NYT best seller, maybe a movie. Earn money for publisher, co-author and herself. Earn fame for herself. All those inspired readers will turn around and buy 3D stock. The bigger fool in the game.
  • 3D and Ping Fu get more money out of the stock hype, and government contract from the Obama Administration.
  • Tina Brown is probably also part of the deal, otherwise, it is hard to believe she is willing to risk Sir Harold Evans reputation to defend someone’s book in the face of mounting evidence pointing it out as a fake.
  • and with slogan such as “3D will be as big as iPad/iPhone”, “3D will be as big as the Internet”, who can say where the 3D stock will end up? Sky is the limit.

That’s why it is so annoying to all party involved (3D Industry, Ping Fu, Tina Brown, Meimei Fox, etc. etc.) when something unexpected happened.

The quiet, usually private, usually avoiding spotlight by all means Chinese and Chinese American spoke up when they watched this pile of lies parading the US mainstream media. refused to play the media game by not taking down the 100s of 1-star reviewers ( did delete the first 1-star review from reader “lin” on Feb. 17, 2013, citing it being “visually distracting” WTF?!).

The PR team didn’t expect there are still idealistic Chinese and Chinese American who care enough to point out a liar when they see one. They didn’t expect them to keep at it for weeks on end.

Most annoying of all, Forbes and Guardian actually bothered to publish follow-up reports on the controversy.

But then all these chatter and mishaps surrounding the fake-memoir is still not a big deal for the 3D plan. As long as the stock continues to be hyped up with the Obama Admin’s help, then all will end well for the planner of this plan. Even though the publisher might have to concede a NYT bestseller and a potential movie, in the bigger scheme of things, the book is a small potato.

Then come the Citron Research report that is trying to pop the bubble. This is a lot more serious than all the amazon book review plus Guardian combined. Because this actually impacts the stock price.

3D’s earning call is scheduled to be Feb. 25, 2013. We shall find out what kind of tricks they have in their books.

Maybe it is already too late to pull back the Obama Admin from another Solyndra disaster, maybe it is too late to stop 3D becomes another hype and millions of investors fooled into investing in 3D.

At least we Chinese American has the small consolation that we have spoken up to defend the core value of the US society: Honesty and Integrity. We have tried to warn the greater public from becoming the greater fools in the 3D stock scam. We have tried to alert the US media by pointing out endless discrepancies. Someone on the web joked that when the next Ping Fu comes around, their PR team should all be sent a memo:”Do Not Tell the Chinese!” If what happened around Ping Fu Controversy will give pulse to any publisher before they publish another fake memoir on China and actually does some factcheck against Chinese History, then it is well worth the fight.

Each society deserves its own frauds and cheats. The US Media, the US people, and the Obama Administration will have to answer to their negligence someday.

We’ve tried to warn you.

3 thoughts on “Ping Fu Controversy III – 3D Printing, the Next Solyndra?

  1. Bend, Not Break is a sincere and powerful memoir. What a shame you and your mob are extending such effort to discredit a moving book with an important message. It appears the truth is not good enough for you and that has brought out an ugly side of humanity and the unfortunate down side of social media. P.S. Not realistic to think your comments are impacting stock prices. You’re obviously having fun making things up, very sad.

    • Hello, Manau,
      Welcome to my little humble corner of the giant cyberspace.

      Thank you for bestowing me the honor of representing this “mob”. In reality, i mostly try to represent myself only. It is rare to see such unity among Chinese Americans. I heard Obama only managed to get 70% of this group to vote for him. This time, regardless of political standings, age, or profession, the entire Chinese American community seems to be united when it comes to this Ping Fu Controversy. Have you wondered why? i’m sure some politicians are wondering how to unite this “mob” again to collect vote next time, maybe they can learn something from this controversy.

      It is obvious this book is very inspirational, and i believe the writer Meimei Fox has a great imagination and knows how to satisfy her readers. Why not call it fiction, then? Combining collective experience into a single heroin is obviously the privilege of any fiction writer. You can still have your powerful and inspirational fiction with an important message. While the history can be left alone, intact, Why not go that way? Why pretend?

      You are talking about “truth not being good enough”. Where is the truth? We’ve tried to ask for the truth, dates, names, proof, references. anything that corroborate events in this book, major or minor. So far we got lots of conflicted messages, backpedaling, and “emotional memories”.

      You didn’t read my writing carefully. I said “Citron Research report .. is a lot more serious than all the amazon book review plus Guardian combined”. Meaning, just as you said, amazon comments and even the Guardian will do nothing to a stock price. but a influential short seller’s report will and it did.

      I really wish i’m just making this up. i wish 3D is not a bubble and Obama’s plan to invest in 3D printing now won’t turn into another Solyndra. I really do. Let’s wait and see. I’m more than happy to stand corrected.

      In case you haven’t read my earlier entries, here is a list of unanswered questions we would like to hear PF clarify with facts not with “emotional memories”:

  2. I really like the part about a list of unanswered questions.
    Hope Ping Fu and her supporters pay serious attention before answering.
    When talking about technology, consistency is a key that must not be lost. Ping should try a lot harder to make her messages consistent.

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