A college in Wuhan, Hubei is under fire after it allegedly plagiarised the design of an iconic gate at the prestigious Tsinghua University.

The Wuhan Marine Vocational College denied it copied the Tsinghua arch after local newspaper Chutian Metropolis Daily pointed out the two structures look almost exactly the same.

copycat tsinghua gate
The stone gate in Wuhan Marine Vocational College. Photo: Chutian Metropolis Daily.

The Wuhan Marine Vocational College gate features the Chinese idiom, hou de zai wu, meaning “gentlemen with noble characters should take up great social responsibilities.” The phrase is part of Tsinghua University’s motto.

Vice chancellor Lian Haibo told the newspaper that the “European-style” gate was built in 2014 “because of the school’s overseas connections,” and that similarity with the Tsinghua gate was unexpected.

The Tsinghua University stone arch is a landmark of the elite Beijing school. Built in late Qing Dynasty, it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt in 1991.

copycat tsinghua gate
The Tsinghua arch. Photo: qq.com.

Earlier this year, another Wuhan educational institution sparked controversy after it spent RMB4 million (HK$4.8 million) of students’ tuition fees to build a replica of the Great Wall on campus.

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The “campus Great Wall” in Wuham Institute of Bioengineering. Photo: Sina

China is home to numerous rip-offs of world landmarks.

copycat china architecture
The fake Arc de Triomphe in Zhengzhou, China. Photo: Tencent News

A fake Arc de Triomphe recently appeared in Zhengzhou, Henan.

Austrian town Hallstatt was copied in China. Photo: Lukas Messmer

In 2011, a developer in Guangdong copied an entire Austrian village and made it into a residential project.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.