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Swedish-Chinese author accused of plagiarism

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Swedish-Chinese author accused of plagiarism
10:13 CEST+02:00
A Swedish woman of Chinese origin is alleged to have plagiarized large tracts from more than 250 works of over 245 writers, according to Chinese media reports.

Wiewei Zhang is a Swedish citizen born in China and is a prolific author who writes under the pseudonym "vivibear". She is a popular novelist and is one of the few romantic fiction writers to enjoy extensive coverage in the Chinese media.

This coverage has however recently been dedicated not to the literary content of her novels, but to allegations that she has plagiarized much of her work.

According to Chinese media reports all of her sixteen completed novels to date show varying degrees of plagiarism.

Weiwei Zhang was born in 1977 in Zhejiang Province in China. She married a Swedish engineer in 2004 and the couple now reside in Sweden.

Under the pseudonym "vivibear" she has managed to sell more than a million copies of her nine published novels in the past four years. She has during this period signed several major book contracts, and was in 2008 rated the most successful Chinese internet writer.

Allegations that she had copied much of her work began to emerge in the Chinese media in January 2009.

After the scandal broke Weiwei Zhang has maintained her silence and is reported to have since deleted and corrected much of her work on her online blog, which she now uses to publish her work after falling out with her online publisher in 2007.

Several of the companies with which "vivibear" holds contracts have since responded and many have pulled her books from shelves as evidence mounts against the author.

Zhang's latest novels "Fantasy Knight" and "101st Time Runaway Bride" have been delayed by the publisher for "unspecified reasons".

Attempts by The Local to reach Weiwei Zhang for a comment on Sunday were unsuccessful.

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