Of course, there is truth in every rumor. That this other man may be racist should not bias observations. It is well known that grades represent a certain mania in East Asian countries. The studying is well in excess of that which is healthy or sustainable.
It goes without saying that East Asia is the most dynamic market, and rapidly evolving strategic region in the world. Creativity and cheating are a union, you cannot have one without the other. One must be creative in order to cheat. It gets harder every year.
Now I will supply my own anecdote:
When China opened for business, the culture shock was extreme. State controls meant that business had to be done on an informal basis of trust. As capitalism took effect, these informal relationships became formal, and founded the networks of patronage upon which the economy built itself. Since you are dealing with one branch or another of the patronage network, there's a certain restraint built into the system, an honor code.
When these businessmen began to deal with US companies, they were often naive. One executive found his American suppliers to not only be delinquent on deliveries, but demanding a further payment (obvious breach of contract). Of course the American company knew the legal arbitrage value, the understanding it is less expensive to negotiate than take the case to court. Also, any business that takes its suppliers to court is unlikely to last. The Chinese company ate its losses, but it quickly learned the way business was done in America.
This was the era of cocaine fueled e-bubble jockeys. An era of Enrons, Madoffs, and Cheneys. Cheating in the west was the norm. The case files on the subject are numerous and ubiquitous. Creative solutions are euphemisms for hypocrisy and rule bending. 'Critical thinking' replaces logic, because logic tends to follow laws.