Applications for SNH48, AKB48 overseas sister unit based in Shanghai started officially on July 12th. It was reported on July 26th that the number of applicants exceeded expectations, with thousands of applications being submitted on the first day. The application website was down temporary due to the surge in large number of applicants.
Although the targeted age group is between 16-22 years, talented applicants who fall out of this age group are still invited to apply. The youngest applicant currently is a 9 year old. 16 members will be selected to team “S” in this application cycle and will train in Japan before their official debut.
AKB48 is popular in Shanghai and the auditions has garnered much attention. There are already fan clubs for SNH48 formed on weibo, a version of twitter in China.