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Chinese Version of Apprentice Coming Soon
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A reality show in which would-be Chinese entrepreneurs from around the world compete to become bosses of new businesses is set to debut on China's largest national TV network in May.


Believed to be a spin-off of The Apprentice, the hit American reality show, Win in China launched by CCTV on Wednesday aims to provide a fresh form of entertainment and offer greater opportunities for aspiring businessmen.


According to its producers, participants in the eight-month show will face rigorous tests of their tenacity, business acumen and street savvy.


Here's how the show is formatted:


About 110 competitors will gather in Beijing for the preliminary contest after being chosen from among 3,000.


Twelve participants will enter the semi-final, adjudicated by judges including academic experts and successful entrepreneurs.


One competitor will be eliminated in each episode until five remain.


The winner will run a new business with a registered capital of no less than 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million); the runner-up, seven million yuan (US$863,000); and other three, five million yuan (US$617,000).


The prizes compare favorably with The Apprentice, in which the winner is given a job at US real-estate mogul Donald Trump's company and a six-figure salary.


Unlike in The Apprentice, where Trump calls the shots, delivering the now-famous "You're fired" line to losing contestants, Win in China will play to audience preferences.


Two of the 12 semi-finalists will be selected by viewers via text messages; and the ultimate winner only by audiences.


Wang Lifen, executive producer of the show, said that the program would be much more dramatic and interactive than The Apprentice because the audience will be involved.


Viewer participation seems to have been adapted from the Super Girl singing contest, which was inspired by another American TV show, the American Idol.


The Super Girl, watched by more than 400 million people last year and the winner decided by text messages, is one of the most successful shows in Chinese television history.


"More importantly, Win in China will be inspirational, celebrating the indomitable human spirit and encouraging Chinese people to achieve their dreams," Wang said.


(China Daily March 31, 2006)

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