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Amazing Chinese YouTubers and TV shows that make me happy

As an American Born Chinese in her mid-twenties, I love watching Chinese YouTubers, TV Shows and podcasts to learn Chinese. If you love YouTubers like Jenn Im, Michelle Choi and TV shows like Modern Family, you’re sure to love these recommendations!

Why is it so hard to find good Chinese content?

When I first started actively learning Chinese in college, I struggled to find enjoyable ways to immerse myself in Chinese culture. No matter how hard I searched, I could never find content I actually was interested in.

I think this is because much of Chinese content is solely on Chinese apps or platforms, and as an ABC, I’m usually on Netflix, YouTube and Spotify, which unfortunately don’t have a lot of Chinese content (as compared to Korean content for example). It wasn’t until I started being able to search in Chinese that I started finding great content! 

Watching YouTube is my favorite way to learn Chinese

So, I wanted to share a list of content I’ve cultivated over the past 5 years that I truly love consuming. I would say 50% of the content I consume is fully in Chinese and it’s because I actually enjoy it so much. Compared to studying textbooks, consuming Chinese content helps me pick up new vocabulary people actually use in conversation and I’ve learned so much more about modern Chinese culture. And it’s fun!

Let me know if you try any of these out! And share with me your favorite Chinese YouTubers, TV shows, podcasts. I would love to find more favorites 🙂

Table of Contents

  1. Chinese social media
  2. YouTubers
  3. TV Shows
  4. Podcasts

1. Chinese Social Media

⭐⭐⭐小红书 RED app

Before we go into YouTube, Netflix recommendations, I need to introduce you to 小红书 (xiaohongshu) or RED. This is the biggest Chinese social media app – I would estimate 80% of Chinese women in their twenties /thirties use this. It’s like Pinterest x Instagram x TikTok x Yelp all in one platform.

RED is all about giving you recommendations, life tips and inspiration. Creators will write extremely in-depth guides about everything from “Top restaurants in the Bay Area”,  “Early Spring Outfit guides” to even “How to apply for a Chinese visa”. 

Three ways I love using 小红书:

  1. Finding the best authentic Chinese restaurants anywhere I go – just type in “美食 (meishi) + city name”. 
  2. Asian fashion inspiration
  3. Recipe recommendations – especially for easy Chinese home cooking.

2. My favorite Chinese YouTubers:

⭐⭐ 翠西Tracey Cui (225K Subscribers)
Tianjin vlogger in Singapore, bougie international vibes
Highly highly recommend!!! similar to Valeria Lipovetsky. 

Tracey is easily my favorite Chinese YouTuber. 

She grew up in Tianjin, China and she went to college at Columbia University. She was also crowned Miss New York and she was a CNBC news anchor as well. Now, she lives with her husband and baby in Singapore. Her husband works in finance and she’s a full-time YouTuber, beauty influencer. 

She gives all the Crazy Rich Asian vibes in the best way possible, she is bougie, beautiful and loves to show off her rich friends, dinner parties and vacations she takes. But, she’s also extremely humble and gets vulnerable.

Vicky Soupsss (338K Subscribers)
Sichuan vlogger based in LA, extremely sweet home vlogs
You’ll like her if you like Jenn Im, Zoella

I love Vicky so much. Vicky makes vlogs about her daily life with her and her husband Dylan. They’re originally from Sichuan, but now they live in LA. They have a beautiful home and built an epic vegetable garden in the backyard. They just had a baby and Vicky shared her IVF story on YouTube. 

Vicky is also an amazing chef and constantly makes Dylan delicious food that he just devours. You really can’t help but love Vicky and Dylan. 

It’s Jcnana (392K Subscribers)
Taiwanese vlogger based in Toronto, cool travel girl vibes

Jcnana gives off such cool girl vibes. She is Taiwanese and lives in Toronto, but travels a lot – recently she lived a few months in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Seoul. She is really active and just so beautiful omg. I love her fashion and beauty videos the most out of other Chinese YouTubers.

TheKellyYang (745K Subscribers)
Taiwanese vlogger based in Seattle working in tech!
You’ll like her if you like Michelle Choi

At the time I found Kelly, she was also living in the Bay Area and working in tech. Now, she and her husband have moved to Seattle! Kelly is originally from Taiwan and her vlogs include mostly her cooking at home and doing house chores. 

⭐⭐李子柒 Liziqi (17M Subscribers)

She doesn’t make videos anymore, but omg you have to watch her videos. She made beautiful cinematographic videos of her life in the countryside of China. She moved back to her hometown village to take care of her grandmother and she makes a bunch of food from scratch in the most beautiful way.

Honorable mentions:

  • Yuyusai // Yuyu lives in Shanghai and she travels a lot! She goes to Thailand, Milan most frequently and shows the party girl life.
  • 胖丁wenning // She lives in Shanghai with her boyfriend and they’re so cute. She’s a model and usually shows her photoshoot days, but also the chill dates and vacations with her bf (he is her elementary school sweetheart).
  • KrystiNaaa // Kristina lives in Hangzhou and makes really cute daily life vlogs with her husband. She’s super warm, bubbly and genuine. They cook a lot, exercise and she just has a really entertaining personality.

Favorite Chinese Cooking YouTubers

I really love to find recipes in Chinese because they are often way more authentic tasting. My goal is to cook as good as my parents, so my kids know what real Chinese food should taste like.

小高姐的MagicIngredients (2.51M Subscribers)

小高姐 is a classic. She has really easy to follow recipes in Chinese and I’ve tried out several recipes for 红烧牛肉 (hong shao niu rou), 豆沙包 (dou sha bao), 葱油饼 (cong you bing). 

Chef Wang 美食作家王刚 (2.02M Subscribers)

This guy is hilarious. He’s a professional chef and he is legit. His recipes usually start with a live animal :O But he really teaches you how to stir fry with a wok and using all the right ingredients / chopping style.

3. TV Shows

Mind Your Manners

⭐⭐⭐Mind Your Manners w/ Sara Jane Ho
[Netflix] Life transformation show with Chinese flair

I just discovered Sara Jane Ho from the AsianBossGirl podcast, and I became immediately obsessed. Sara Jane Ho is the classic Chinese girl, but went to international school and she has a beautiful British Asian accent. She went to Georgetown, Harvard Business School, so she’s hella smart and poised. She’s an etiquette teacher in Beijing and also extremely well versed in feng shui and traditional chinese medicine.

Her show Mind Your Manners is a makeover show, but for etiquette. It’s 50% in English and 50% in Chinese. It’s truly amazing – she takes Australian and American students and teaches them proper etiquette, dress, career tips, confidence tips. She also shows them Traditional Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui and Martial Arts, presenting them in an incredibly elegant way. 

Chinese dramas


⭐⭐⭐小欢喜 / A Little Reunion (2019)
[YouTube] Family Drama, Comedy
You’ll love this if you love sitcoms like Modern Family.

This is my all time favorite Chinese drama I’ve ever watched. It’s about 3 families whose kids are all taking the 高考 (gao kao) or the college entrance exam. It’s extremely heart-warming, funny and just gives you such great feels throughout the show. I love this because I learned more about how grueling the 高考 exam really is on students, I saw what life for Chinese families living in big cities was like and I loved it showed complex family dynamics, such as divorce and affairs. 

Do you know the meaning of 'O2O' in Chinese drama Love O2O? - Korean  Chinese and Asian Drama Forum♥ - Quora
Love O2O

⭐⭐Love O2O (2016)
(Netflix) Romantic Drama

This was my first Chinese drama I watched and it was just so cute. 

In this drama, two students fall in love when gaming together online. It’s actually really well done where the drama follows the characters into the video game, which is set in Ancient China. So it’s a mix of modern day college students and also random battles in beautiful scenery together. 

Go Go Squid! (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb
Go Go Squid!

親愛的,熱愛的 / Go Go Squid (2020)
(YouTube) Romantic Drama

This is another e-sports romantic drama (lol) about male lead who is a famous gamer in China, who is set to take his team to the world championship. The female lead is an extremely smart and cute singer in college. 

This drama is pretty cute, but it has that classic C-drama vibe – where the guy is all aloof and bad at expressing emotions and the girl is cutesy, but her personality is not very fleshed out. 

A Love So Beautiful - Wikipedia
A Love So Beautiful

致我们单纯的小美好 / A Love so Beautiful (2017)
(YouTube) Romantic Drama

Another cute high-school drama. A dorky girl really likes her next door neighbor and eventually he falls for her!

4. Podcasts

I really can not find many good Chinese learning podcasts, so please help me if you can!

⭐⭐瞎扯学中文 Convo Chinese
Spotify Intermediate Chinese

This podcast is perfect if you want to hear about modern Chinese pop culture and casual conversations between friends. Joanne is Chinese and she moved to Switzerland for a graduate degree. She brings on friends she’s met in Europe, who are also Chinese, and they talk about life abroad, Chinese culture vs Western culture. She lives with her Canadian boyfriend David who is learning Chinese and he’s actually really good!

That’s a wrap! This was so much fun for me to write 🙂 I hope you had fun reading this and leave me a comment if you liked this.

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