(Beijing, 9/9/06) Yesterday I did an interview with the executive producer of CCTV’s (the Chinese National TV Network) new hit reality show called “Win in China”. It is a brilliant show. Instead of embarrassing people and voting them off islands, Win in China is a show where a selected group of Chinese students compete for venture capital funding for business plans they create during the show.
Meet CCTV Producer Sunny Lee and her colleagues on the “Win in China” interview team.
The contestants are judged by venture capital professionals—both U.S. and Chinese–and chairmen of successful companies and has strong financial support from Chinese and US businesses including Forbes, NASDAQ and Yahoo. The contestants are tested with rigorous business tasks that “test their tenacity to withstand hardship, their business acumen, and their street smarts.” The winner of the final round is selected by viewer who sent in text messages from their cell phones. The winner receives 10 million RMB in venture capital funding (about $1.2 million) plus A 20% equity stake in the NEW company. The runners up receive 5-7 million RMB in seed financing and 20% equity stakes. To encourage viewers to vote with text messages, audience members can win stock in the start-up company worth up to 10,000 RMB.
The show has been a smash hit but according to the producer Wong Li Fen, who describes the show as a cross between the Apprentice and American Idol, the focus of the show is not ratings; it is to provide inspiration to young people about “the unbeatable human spirit, determination and striving of the Chinese people.” Not a bad lesson.