Movies

China bitten by the reality TV bug

MUMBAI: The reality TV genre is creating waves in China. A new show which has been modelled on The Apprentice sees contestants pitching their plans for start-up businesses. The show is called Wise Man Takes All and received thousands of applications.

The one with the best proposal will win $123,000 and the chance to use the winnings as start-up capital. Losing contestants will not be subject to the famous catchphrase, "You're Fired".

Wise Man Takes All is the latest in a line of reality TV productions to have captured the imagination of the Chinese people, more used to a diet of historical soap operas, game shows and propaganda.

Each of the 10,000-plus applicants for the show have had to submit a business plan outlining how they would spend the prize. The applicants, aged between 20 and 40, will be whittled down to 16 who will be on the show in preliminary interviews to be held in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Wuhan and Shenzhen.

One of Shanghai's biggest property tycoons, Vincent Lo Hongshui is a backer. Most of the plans submitted are linked to the IT industry,

Most of China's 350 million households have televisions and 40 million sets are sold each year. There are now more than 3,000 television stations in China, most of which are local rather than national, and the government has outlined plans to expand the fledgling cable TV network. Advertisers are scrambling to take advantage of the huge audiences.

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