Shanghai, Jan 23 (Agencies): A PhD holder in Shanghai has opened an online store to sell his thesis to pay loan.

The 30-year-old PhD holder, a full-time company employee, said he was using his "academic gift" to write essays for others in his spare time.

He earns 10,000 yuan ($1,500) to 20,000 yuan for each paper and has sold at least 10 papers since opening the store, according to the reports.

"I did it for money, thanks to the real estate developer. I'm a slave to the home mortgage and I'm forced to do it," he said.

The man, however, claims he did some research before opening the store and found out that it did not violate any law.

After selling the essays related to his own research for his PhD degree, the man started offering his services to others.

Liu Chunquan, a lawyer, said: "It's legal if the author agrees to give the copyright to the client."

He said many students hire "ghost writers" to write essays for them, probably due to the rigid professional appraisal system in China.

Netizens, however, criticised him on his online store's feedback page for aiding academic corruption. "It's a pity that your talents are misused," one read.

Legal and education experts are now calling on institutions to reform evaluation methods and stop the blind pursuit of publishing papers.

Many universities in China evaluate faculty members on how many papers they publish in a year.

Postgraduate students have to publish at least one paper in a key academic journal to get their diploma while thesis publication is also a must for researchers and professors to gain awards or promotions.