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Chinese Teams Join Online Contest

Chinese have topped the number of applicants for 4th L'Oreal e-Strat Challenge, an international business competition among MBA students on the Internet.


A total of 1,158 teams from Chinese universities applied for the online game, and 133 have been accepted.


It is the first time for Chinese teams to make up the largest group since the competition started in 2000.


This competition challenges students from all majors to work in teams of three and to think like general manager through five weeks of intensive global competition on the Internet.


Applications include students from every continent and from such diverse universities as Harvard in the United States, Coppead in Brazil, the Indian Institute of Management, Keio in Japan and SDA Bocconi in Italy.


Last year, 377 Chinese teams applied for the game and an MBA team from Fudan University in Shanghai placed second in the Asian zone and seventh in the final.


In its fourth year, the contest has attracted 30,054 students from 113 countries and regions around the world, with 10,018 teams making it the largest edition so far.


From now until March 1, 1,000 teams, including 550 MBA teams and 450 undergraduate teams, will compete online in real time.


Every team will run a cosmetics company, control a portfolio of beauty brands and compete for worldwide leadership against four other virtual companies during six runs.


The four other virtual companies, run automatically by the simulation, will not only challenge the teams with innovative decisions but will also respond to their moves.


Seven MBA teams and seven undergraduate teams will compete in the final, to be held in Paris in April. The finalists will submit their business plans and defend their strategies before a jury of management and commerce experts.


The two winning teams will receive a one-week trip to the destination of their choice.


"We are all particularly enthusiastic about this year's competition," said L'Oreal Executive Vice-President of Human Resources Francois Vachey.


"For us this is a unique opportunity to identify the brightest and the most creative, outside of the classroom, in a real business environment, who could join L'Oreal and become future L'Oreal Managers."


L'Oreal organizes the competition with Strats and Business Week.


The methodology of Strats holds that skills cannot always be taught from a book or lecture. They must be learned through hands-on experience.


(China Daily February 13, 2004)

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