Win in China: Driving Entrepreurialism in China.

Friday, July 3, 2009 9:52

Win in China

Whether it is the entrepreneurs of Wenzhou who have developed the informal lending circles, those returning from Silicon Valley, your local delivery man who represents 6 delivery companies or the freshly minted grads who are receiving government aid, China breadth of entrepreneurial ventures is wide.

Some of China’s biggest celebrities (Jack Ma) are in fact entrepreneurs, so big in fact that they warranted their own reality  TV compeition (CCTV’s Win In China) and their own documentary Win In China.

Recently released, the documentary is an interesting behind the scenes look on the show, and the wider entrepreneur phenomenon, to capture the fascination behind entrepreneurs by looking through its judges (Jack Ma) as they have attained a hero status in China…. and what some will take to make it there.  The core competition is structured my like that of Trump’s Apprentice in so far as contestants are tested on their ability to work in teams, think on their feet, and succeed at a task, however, unlike Trumps version where it is a pool of elite MBAs, this show runs the gamete of single mothers/ grandmothers, successful manufacturer, recent MBA, returning Chinese, and so on. Additionally, the show adds a final 1-on-1  self criticism/ debate that becomes the climax of each show, a segment that leads into the final judging by Jack Ma and his team to decide the fate of one member over the other.

On a wider level, what I find interesting about this show is not so much the competition, or who won (the good guy won), but the range of character that was displayed by the contestants, and the flexibility that the game offered contestants as they proceeded. You had some members who were really trying hard to proceed with a moral compas in hand.  Their goal was to develop a product/ service that was truly the best, without cutting corners.  While others clearly were happy to trade their moral compass, and push the lines of sexual harrasement, to gain the edge.

Equally interesting, perhaps more so, was the fact that when one member (The Wolf) was called out for repeatedly working outside the confines of the rules, he trumped with “I was not educated in school.  I had to work doubly hard for my success”..and received a standing ovation. A very interesting insight.

As I mentioned, in the end the “good” guy won the battle that was Win In China, but the update from the producer showed that in reality that had little bearing on who the war:

The winner of the competition, Song Wenming, started his business; it is going slower than he expected. The second place winner – Zhou Yu – “The Wolf” – has rapidly expanded his plants and is growing his business quickly

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5 Responses to “Win in China: Driving Entrepreurialism in China.”

  1. Hang says:

    July 3rd, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I think this series of Win in China was on TV in 2007. So it is a bit old. I was wondering what you mean by ‘sexual harassment’ in the following paragraph?

    “…While others clearly were happy to trade their moral compass, and push the lines of sexual harassment, to gain the edge.”

  2. Rich says:

    July 4th, 2009 at 12:44 am


    yes – this show is old, but the documentary that I was sent was just released.

    As for the sexual harassment, it is when “wolf” is trying to gather competitive intelligence by going to the graphic team and starts off by calling on the girl as 美女 as a means to butter her up. Call me sensitive if you like, but for a nationally televised show to put this on was just another interesting insight into what was deemed as passable behavior by the audience/ judges.


  3. Hang says:

    July 7th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Rich, thanks for the explanation.

  4. james says:

    July 10th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    There are several seasons of this show, so Hang might’ve seen the first season (I checked it on wikipedia, and surprisingly, there was actually a snippet there).

    I’m going to try to see if I can get this on the internet.

  5. Liza Dittoe says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    It’s awesome! You can find the documentary at