No sign of Donald Trump but viewers will get Chinese-style capitalism after state broadcaster CCTV announced plans to launch “Win in China,” an “Apprentice” clone, although producers insist any similarities are superficial.
“‘The Apprentice’ 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,” said Wang Lifen, executive producer of “Win in China,” on Thursday.
Skein has rampant capitalism at its core. The winner will be put in charge of a business with registered capital of $1.2 million, while another four winners will run smaller firms. The startups are being funded by Asian and international venture capital firms.
“Win in China” bows in May and, instead of Trump’s autocratic rulings, viewers will decide who gets fired by voting for their favorite by phone text message or online, making for a much more “dramatic and interactive” show. Some viewers will be given stocks in the new companies.
“The Apprentice” has captured public imagination in China, which has embraced the free market within the past quarter century or so.
Late last year, Shanghai’s Dragon TV launched “Wise Man Takes All,” a skein sponsored by Hong Kong tycoon Vincent Lo, who is involved in a legal row with Trump.
But efforts to produce a Chinese version of “The Apprentice,” with maverick Beijing property tycoon Pan Shiyi taking the Trump role, collapsed after Pan pulled out.