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CCTV to air its version of "The Apprentice" in May

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MUMBAI: China is offering another version of the reality show The Apprentice - minus Donald Trump. The show Win in China is being produced by China Central Television (CCTV). It is a show where would-be entrepreneurs compete to win positions as CEOs of new businesses.

The executive producer of the new version, Wang Lifen, said the show shares some similarities with the popular US series, but there are essential differences as well. Win in China will debut in May, and viewers will take on the New York businessman's role of deciding who gets fired by voting electronically for their favourite, according to producers.

Lifen said, "I think The Apprentice show is driven by money, which is hard to accept in Chinese culture. What we're looking for is the talent of self-management and entrepreneurship.The program matches very well with the country's current situation."

The American show has contestants vying for a job as apprentice to millionaire businessman Trump. Contestants are given tasks that test their skills in sales, marketing, advertising and finance. They compete against each other, often to see who can make the most money. At the end of each show, Trump whittles down the applicant pool by declaring "You're fired!"

Win in China will be a much more dramatic and interactive program since the audience will participate. Chinese participants will also endure rigorous business tasks that test their tenacity to withstand hardship. Viewers will vote for the winner, and some will even become shareholders in the new company, according to CCTV.

In the Chinese version, the top winner is given the reins of a new business with a registered capital of no less than 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million), while the other four winners will get to run smaller firms. The startups are being funded by Asian and international venture capital firms.

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