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May 20, 2010

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China's got talented thieves, show learns

"CHINA'S Got Talent," the authorized Chinese version based on the British talent show "Britain's Got Talent," found its Internet mailbox raided and emptied on Tuesday afternoon, Shanghai-based Dragon TV officials said yesterday.

All 900 e-mails about the program's detailed running schedules, plans and contestants' resumes were deleted. But the biggest loss is the production manual of the "Got Talent" series, which was purchased from Fremantle Media. It is valued at about US$400,000.

"We're worried that someone might put this confidential document on the Internet so that there would be no secret to this successful TV format," said Lu Wei, a spokesman of the show.

If competitors acquire the manual, they might make copies or parodies of "China's Got Talent," which could badly dent the show's viewership.

The mailbox was for the use of the Dragon TV's internal employees only so it had simple passwords for easy communication.

The program's producers reported the case to the police. They're not sure if the mailbox was invaded by a hacker or by someone on their own staff.

"We have asked major domestic Websites to delete these documents immediately once they're posted to reduce loss," Lu added.

The production team of "China's Got Talent" is also preparing for the worst: the confidential documents being revealed. If that happens, the show might change its running schedules and postpone its first elimination rounds, final rounds and TV broadcasting date.


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