Donald Trump says he is close to clinching a deal for a Chinese version of his hit NBC reality TV show, "The Apprentice."

Beijing real-estate mogul Pan Shiyi will host and take his place in the boardroom, hiring and firing, Trump told the Sunday South China Morning Post.

The newspaper said Trump's show would go head-to-head against "Wise Man Takes All," an "Apprentice" style show being produced by his Hong Kong business partner, Vincent Lo Hong-sui.

Trump, however, predicted "Wise Man" will fail.

"China is going to have its own version of 'The Apprentice,'" Trump said. "There have been 11 copies of 'The Apprentice' and every single one of them has failed.

"Copying is the greatest form of flattery, I guess," he added.

Mark Burnett Productions, which owns the rights to "The Apprentice," said the Chinese version would stay close to the original.