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Friday, 22 June, 2001, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Chinese reality TV attracts thousands
Beijing
15,000 applications came from Beijing alone
More than 200,000 people have applied to take part in a Chinese reality TV show similar to Survivor.

Some 60 people have reached the final selection, which will choose 16 contestants to test their survival skills in the mountains of the southwestern Yunnan province.

Winners are promised the chance to fulfill a dream, such as world travel foreign study or starting a business - rather than cash prizes.

Survivor
Survivor: Much imitated since launching in the US
And contestants will work in teams of four for the 30-day ordeal, for which they will be given enough food and matches for just 10 days.

The competition attracted would-be contestants from all walks of life and from all ages between 12 and 70.

In Beijing alone, the advertisement for the show attracted 15,000 people.

Shangri-La

The exact nature of the competition has not been announced by the production company, Weihan Culture and Media, which is co-ordinating the series with China Central Television and 20 local stations.

The region where the ordeal will take place is said to have inspired James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon about the fictional Himalayan paradise of Shangri-La.

The launch of the show reflects the changes taking place in Chinese broadcasting, as broadcasters face cuts in state subsidies and try to keep viewers by making more popular programming.

China already has a version of the quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

And contestants on Happy Dictionary can win cash by answering questions about science, history and current events.

But the Chinese "Survivor" aspires to be less individualistic than the orginal, and publicity material emphasizes group effort and competition with nature.

Environmentalists have already shown concern about the effect of the proposed series on nature, and say it will attract a huge media presence and pollution to a little-visited scenic countryside.

See also:

18 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Survivor tough guy voted out
06 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Survivor goes once a week
05 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Survivor: Just holding on
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