17-year-old CEO accused of coding plagiarism

Updated 2017-09-08 09:30:43 chinaplus.cri.cn

A 17 year old tech entrepreneur has hit the headlines in China following allegations of coding plagiarism, reports the media site thepaper.cn.

17-year-old high school student Li Xinze is already the CEO of his own company. He recently graduated in central China's Luoyang city and is now studying at a prep school in Russia before attending Saint Petersburg State University. His classmates call him the next Jack Ma or Bill Gates.

His company is called Luoyang Chongcai Network Technology Co., Ltd., and was established on July 17, 2015 with registered capital of 500,000 RMB (about USD 77,000). As Li Xinze is still under 18, the company's legal representative is his mother.

Li also writes a blog, and his bold comments were praised by billionaire Lei Jun, the founder of the Xiaomi smart phone company.

On September 5, a network architect dubbed as Mojingmao (Sunglass cat) publicly accused the 17-year-old of copying his code from the open source site Github.com. He said he spotted his own work when he saw an interview with Li demonstrating his latest Smart TV program. The architect said Li not only copied his source code, but also copied his cat logo design.

However Li has denied the accusations saying the architect agreed that his firm could use the code and design.

Li claims that his company has some 300 employees; most of whom were born after the year 2000, with the youngest only 11 years old. However, it's reported that the firm is only loosely managed through instant messaging groups, and these so called employees are working out of enthusiasm and not getting paid.

So far, Li's company has only made a few apps, including input software which only has 500 users, a browser, and a school timetable application.

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