Win in China Blog



As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, the world’s largest and most lucrative business-plan competition is held... not in the United States or in any western country, but in communist China.

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Beyond the 1.3 billion Chinese, the competition goes largely unnoticed in the rest of the world. But in communist China the competition, aptly named Win In China, is broadcast on national TV.

Over 120,000 entrepreneurs compete for prize money in excess of $5 million with the winner receiving nearly $1.5 million dollars to invest in their new business plan.

Documentary filmmaker Ole Schell is given unprecedented access to the show’s producers, contestants, judges and audience. Like much of China, what Schell discovers is not always exactly as it seems.

Win in China is more than a lucrative business plan competition – it is an opportunity for the government to educate, motivate and inspire the latent entrepreneurial talent in the most populous nation on earth.


James Fallows

James Fallows is National Correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for more than 25 years, based now in Beijing. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and a graduate degree in economics from Oxford. In addition to working for the Atlantic, he served as chief White House speech writer for Jimmy Carter, as the editor of US News & World Report, and as a program designer at Microsoft. Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction. His latest book is Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China.

Jack Ma

Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alibabba, Chairman Yahoo China

One of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people of 2009, Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group and has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since its inception in 1999. Ma is a pioneer in the Chinese Internet industry and in 1995 founded China Pages, widely believed to be China's first Internet-based company. Ma was chosen by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader" in 2001, and selected by China Central Television (CCTV) and its viewers as one of the "Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year" in 2004. He was also named one of the "25 Most Powerful Businesspeople in Asia" by Fortune Magazine in 2005, a "Businessperson of the Year" by BusinessWeek Magazine in 2007, and one of the 30 "World's Best CEOs" by Barron's in 2008.

Orville Schell

Orville Schell was born in New York City and graduated from Harvard University Magna Cum Laude in Far Eastern History. He studied Chinese language at Stanford University, was an exchange student at National Taiwan University and finally received his MA and Ph.d (abd) from the University of California, Berkeley.

He has worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia and covered the war in Indochina for magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly and the New Republic. Since then, he has written widely for many other magazines and newspapers,including The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Harpers, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Wired, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, the China Quarterly, Harpers and the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. He has also authored fourteen books, nine on China, and is at work on, a new book, an interpretation of the last 100 years of Chinese history.

Schell was a Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Overseas Press Club Award, and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize in Asian Journalism.

The former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, Schell was recently appointed by the Asia Society as the Arthur Ross Director to set up its new Center on US-China Relations in New York City.