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Former CCTV star Li takes on new role

By Xie Yu (

08:54, March 28, 2013

Li Yong, flamboyant TV host at China Central Television (CCTV). (

TV anchor Li Yong has joined a reality show themed on entrepreneurship after leaving China Central Television.

The show, called The Winner, will launch on air on April 7. It is being produced by Southeast Satellite Television and Vivid Media and aims to explore the market for venture start-up programs. The winner of the show could receive venture capital of 100 million yuan ($16.1 million).

Li used to be the most flamboyant host on CCTV and impressed Chinese audiences with his light and humorous style in hosting programs such as Lucky 52, Dream China and also the Spring Festival gala. He was ranked as China’s most bankable TV personality, with a projected brand value of 500 million yuan as early as 2006.

Li said on leaving CCTV he would take up a teaching position at the Communication University of China last week.

The Winner will be the first TV program that he will host after leaving CCTV.

“I see a lot of similarities between me and the contestants. Life is all about fighting and I am always fighting, including when I left CCTV. I take it as a chance to start a new life,” he said.

Li stressed an important reason for him to leave CCTV was his daughter. Li’s wife, Ha Wen, acted as chief director of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala for the past two years.

“Neither of us could stay with our daughter to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the past and I thought I should do something,” Li said, adding he now enjoys accompanying his daughter during the weekend, riding horses and playing tennis.

The Winner has invited five celebrities from the venture capital business, including venture investor Xue Manzi and Zhang Suyang, general partner at IDG Capital Partners, Xu Xin, president of Capital Today, Chen Hong, chairman of Hina Group, and Ludvig Nilsson, managing director of Jade Invest.

Contestants attending the show include experienced entrepreneurs such as the chief executive officer of a NASDAQ listed company and also ordinary people with dreams of starting up a private business.

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