More than 800 university student teams have signed up for a nationwide contest to see who can make the largest amount of money on the Internet.
Sponsored by Donghua University, the contest is a cyber space event that will last a month.
Each team will "run" a printer manufacturing company and students in the team will take up positions as chief executive officers, financial directors, marketing and sales managers and run the shareholding firm in a business environment trying to make the largest possible profit.
Participating teams will be evaluated by a computer program according to 24 judging criteria such as their companies' market profit, share interest, bank loans, assets and product quality before a champion team will be declared.
The game's program designers have added market fluctuations like raw material price rises, inflation and labor cost increases into the contest to "make it more real."
"The contest will offer a stage for young people to test their business management ability," said Song Fugen, professor of Donghua's school of management.
"The opportunity is particularly good for students who want to be entrepreneurs before they take real business risks," Song said.
He said university teachers and white collar workers have also entered the contest.
The winning team will claim 1,000 yuan (US$133) and Donghua students can have their contest performance calculated as part of their academic credit points.
"The prize isn't the most important thing. The contest is more meaningful and challenging than those violent computer games," said Wang Huasun, a Donghua student.
The contest will run from November 20 to the end of the year.
(Shanghai Daily November 13, 2007)