We have followed controversies over fake pictures in Chinese newspapers, fake eggs in Chinese stores, fake meat in Chinese markets (here and here) and fake lions in Chinese zoos, but that does not appear to the end of it. Recently, cash rained down from an apartment building after a raid by policemen. The occupants tossed out $50,000 to try to destroy evidence of their fraud: fake scholarly articles being sold to academics.
As Chinese academics struggle to secure top research spots, the Chinese counterfeit industry has kicked in to satisfy demand. What is interesting is that it appears that Chinese research grants and promotions are generally awarded more on the basis of the number of articles published rather than their actual quality or originalism. Such fake research papers have been estimated as amounted to a $150 million industry and growing in China. (In a wonderful ironic twist, someone at Wuhan University published a paper on the fraudulent papers. Hopefully, this was original research).
There has been increasing international criticism of the integrity of Chinese research papers. One survey discussed in the article below one that one third of more than 6,000 scientific researchers at six leading institutions admitted to plagiarism, falsification or fabrication. Notably, in 2009, Acta Crystallographica Section, a British journal on crotabystallography, retracted 70 papers co-authored by two researchers at Jinggangshan university in southern China due to fabricated evidence.
I recall at the University of Chicago, one of my economics professors challenging us to disprove the efficiency of a system where academic degrees and grades are simply sold to the highest bidders. It appears that some wealthy Chinese have seized on the same idea. In a recent trial, Zhang Shuguang, a former railway-ministry official, admitted to $3.9 million in bribes to get himself elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He reportedly used the cash to buy votes and writers to produce books under his name.