The medical incident that makes headlines
On 7th January 2019, law enforcement from Tianjin arrested the owner of Quanjian Group as well as 17 others, accusing them for illegal multi-level marketing and false advertisement on health products.
In just 14 years, the Chinese herbal medicine company has grown into a medical empire with interests in hotels, hospitals, finance and even a football club besides its herbal medicines. Its sales income in 2014 reached 13.5 billion yuan.
The 51 year old founder and CEO Shu Yuhui was accused mainly of links to the death of a four-year-old cancer patient, Tianjin police said.
According to South China Morning Post, the medical conglomerate has been under scrutiny since Chinese health website Dingxiang Yisheng – or Doctor Clove – published allegations on December 25 that the company misled the family of a sick girl into giving up other treatments to concentrate on a herbal remedy made by the company.
The girl, Zhou Yang, died in 2015, three years after she was diagnosed with a sacrococcygeal teratoma, a tumour at the base of her spine, and months after she started using the Quanjian remedy.
Her image was used by the company to promote its products, said the girl’s father, who unsuccessfully sued Quanjian for false marketing.
Who is this guy Shu Yuhui?
Shu Yuhui made several presentations on his birthplace: Yangzhou in Jiangsu province, Heze in Shandong province and Xinghua in Jiangsu province. An investigation by The Beijing News has revealed that Mr. Shu was born in a small village in Yancheng of Jiangsu province.
Funny to tell that in public announcements of most corrupt Communist Party (CCP) officials under discipline inspection, change or fabrication of birthplace was commonplace even with the government’s strict management on personal files.
According to official documents of Quanjian Group, Shu graduated from Tsinghua University in 1992, with records either in economics or in traditional Chinese medicine. And funny to tell that there is no department of traditional Chinese medicine in Tsinghua University; and the investigation by The Beijing News also tells that Mr. Shu graduated from Yancheng Institute of Technology while Tsinghua University denies the existence of such an alumnus.
As academic fraud is widespread across the country, no one would question Mr. Shu’s academic background so seriously as the Beijing News journalist. It is no secret that President Xi Jinping’s PHD degree in law from Tsinghua University was also a fabrication; or at least he never attended any former lectures there and he was a copycat with his graduation thesis.
His country mates in Yancheng city has told the Beijing News journalist that Shu Yuhui was born a naughty boy. He was among the gang of youths in gambling and group fighting. But he has a good mind in making money out of rubbish.
Quanjian Group has claimed that Mr Shu became an official in Yancheng city government after graduation (which was false); he resigned in 1994 for studying marketing and management in a western university (which was false too); and he became a candidate for Most Noted Economic Figures of the Year 2001 (which was also false).
In another document, Mr Shu said he resigned from a leading post in the Power Industry and worked for a medical magazine called China Health-care where he started to learn traditional Chinese medicine from an experienced practitioner who had helped cure his mother’s nasopharyngeal cancer.
In 1999, Shu went to Tianjin and set up a business selling health products. He claimed in one year, the business had a sales income of over 100 million yuan, but he went bankrupt immediately in the same year with heavy debt.
The same journalist was supposed to go to the health magazine for an interview but found that the magazine had stopped its operation in 2009. According to his former employees, Shu was not an employee with the magazine; he placed advertisements in the magazine to make himself a member of its council.
With his business in Tianjing, Mr Shu had claimed he was deputy director of the National High-tech Nature Health Industry Association under the Ministry of Health. Investigations reveal his business registration was canceled in 2004 and the Industry Association was banned as illegal.
From the year 2000, Shu claims, he started to collect secret prescriptions across the country. In a report published in 2013, Mr. Shu claimed to have bought a secret formula for cancer treatment from a farmer in Guangxi province and that formula costs him 80 million yuan (12 million US dollars).
In 2004, with over a thousand “secret formulas” in hand, Mr. Shu established Quanjian Group and started producing a series of health products like massage oils, anti-cancer herbs and magical shoe pads. With false and exaggerated marketing campaigns, his sales went from 550 million in 2012 to 5 billion in 2013, and to 13.5 billion in 2014.
In September 2014, Shu Yuhui flew home to his country village in Yangcheng for the Mid-autumn Festival in a helicopter.
We are not going to say that the economic environment nurtured by communist ideology produces only liars; but it is surely easier for liars to “succeed” in such a society.
The problem is that so many innocent Chinese easily believe in the scams of such liars; and these liars can play their games over and over again for many many years.
Who were behind Shu Yuhui’s schemes of fraud?
On August 7, 2013, China’s Ministry of Commerce issued the License for Directing Selling to one category of 13 cosmetic products of Quanjian.
It is ridiculously arguable that the Chinese government legalizes Direct-selling while prohibiting MLM marketing. To the ordinary people, both are the same thing. But that ambiguity gives the room for corruption.
With its exaggerated advertisement, a therapy “KA Love Box” with a sales price of 9,500 yuan (the cost might be just 200-300 hundred yuan) was marketed to detect cancers, at least 5-10 years ahead of western medicine in the same area. But according to China Food and Drugs Administration (CFDA), the formula is nothing more than a mixture of Q10 with other common herbs. Another medicine sold for 22,500 yuan was said to prevent aging, “the best in human history”. But CFDA says it is something that may regulate the digestive system in a “good way”.
In China, medicine and health care foods, or dietary supplements, are produced and supervised according to different regulations and standards by the CFDA. In one set of regulations, the health ministry defines them as “foods that are beneficial to health, suitable for certain groups, but not with the goal of curing illness”.
One of the key reasons why the ordinary Chinese often pay high prices of their medical bills is widespread corruption within the health administration, including CFDA. Contaminated milk powder and the vaccine scandal are only two typical examples.
In theory, companies can only advertise the functions of their products according to this category, but in reality, there is quite a bit of chaos. Companies like Quanjian have been able to operate for years, due to the lack of supervision and complicated jurisdiction between government departments, a South China Morning Post report has said.
To cover up its scandals, Shu Yuhui and his Quanjian Group put on the dress of a philanthropist. In 2013 during the disastrous Ya’an earthquake, the company donated 100 million yuan.
In 2015, Quanjian paid 100 million yuan to become a strategic partner of Tianjin Taida Football Club and bought another club Songjiang.
Some of the donations were made through the Chinese Peasants and Workers’ Democratic Party, as Shu became a member after his fame.
As we all know China’s so-called democratic parties are nothing but rubber stamps. The CCP pays them enough money to live in extravagance or gives them enough room for corruption so that they all raise their YES hands in the consultative conferences. Shu only makes use of his political fame as shield to safeguard his wealth ambitions.
With his fame as “living magic doctor”, hundreds or even thousands of patients go for him for medical treatment. China’s state-run medical associations praised Mr. Shu as “Famous Doctor with Special Techniques” and “China’s Leading Figure In Nature Medical Science 2009”.
As a matter of fact, Shu Yuhui never has any former training in traditional Chinese medicine. He is not a registered pharmacist or physicist either.
By Cloudy Seagail and staff writer