I was very ignorant about YouTube before - Although I often see it in the daily life, for example, some videos were being transported to Chinese websites and the transporters will tell the original Youtube video link, so occasionally I will visit the YouTube's website to see what is happening there. But the threshold for understanding English popular content on the Youtube homepage is too high and, thanks to its recommendation algorithm, an impression once went something like this: YouTube is full of poorly produced Falun Gong videos (e.g. machine-composed voice-over narration, nineties style videos).
Exposure to YouTube skyrocketed after arriving overseas, and almost all the world's videos are now hosted on YouTube . I forget where it started, but gradually discovered some YouTubers that produce very nice content (I must say, YouTube's recommendation feature is so powerful). Once you get used to the platform, it's getting easier to discover good quality channels. The first batch of channels that I followed (in 2018) were a couple of photography channels, and two knowledge-sharing veterans - Li Yongle / Kuai Zero, sort of lead me up to a new world.
Listed below are the channel owners that I have mainly followed so far, covering different areas including culture, politics, history, knowledge, etc. The channels listed directly under each category are basically channels that have very good content, are consistently high quality, and meet my current range of interests, so I must watch the new videos once it comes out. Channels categorized in other are not bad, but just because of limited time, or not the current point of interest, I will not keep paying attention to them.
Through this summary, I was also able to sort out the timeline and general scope of the channels I follow, and also found that not all the channels that I suscribed are very popular, but the channel owners are all living positivly and hard working on their content. This is probably the greatest benefit that the Internet can give us - allowing us to see the world with our eyes in many completely different perspectives. And despite seeing the same thing, different people will have completely different interpretations.
My favorite cultural channel, also the first cultural channel I follow: Kevin in Shanghai. There are currently 360k followers, there are various novel program themes, and the update frequency is relatively high. Kevin is a very interesting person, graduated from university in 2010, and uploaded the first video in 2015-Street Experiment: Find strangers on the street to borrow money. The number of videos started to increase since the beginning of the New Year 2017. Now I seem to be an English teacher while doing video and travel.
And he's also helped Jared over to become a Youtuber - who usually joking him coming from Hainan (he is actually a Canadian) , the two often collaborated to shoot videos so far. Jared's videos and experiences are also very interesting, and he has shot many videos of cultural comparison. He recently started to date a Chinese girlfriend. He currently has 320k followers.
Thomas is from Germany and now lives in Shanghai. He married a Chinese wife and wrote a German book describing the marriage life in China. Recently, the book has been translated and published a Chinese version. His video covers a wide range of various cultural differences/cuisine sharing/life challenges. In addition to introducing many aspects of China, there is also some German content in his YouTube channel. There are currently 410k followers. I knew Thomas through Kevin's video. Thomas and Jared did a random travel challenge together and went to Madagascar together at the end of 2019. It was very exciting.
By the way, Thomas' favorite video is the one that he tipped ￥20,000 to a taxi driver to take him back to the driver's home.
Link: Thomas阿福 (In Chinese)
Jerry Guo, from New York, USA, started uploading videos on Bilibili in 2017 and was being impersonated on youtube. In 2018 Jerry Kuo started uploading videos simultaneously on YouTube. He introduces food, talking about cultural differences and similarities, introducing and spitting out American social phenomena. He traveled to India in 2019, he also did a series of video introducing India. Jerry now has fans around 500k.
Link: Jerry Kowal 我是郭杰瑞 (In Chinese)
The number of his fans is currently 480k, and the content is as written by his channel name - easy to understand and covering a wide range, including astronomy, geography, history and religion. The topic will not make you bored, nor will you feel unnutritious, there is obviously a personal style in his videos. In short, it is a very interesting channel. Four typical masterpieces with the most broadcasts: 15 minutes to talk about World War II, 7 minutes to make you understand Islam, 10 minutes to understand Tzu Chi, and 15 minutes to talk about the Chinese Civil War .
Link: 蒟蒻講幹話 (In Chinese)
There was a time when I enjoyed his series "The Reason Why I Live Here" day and night. I watched a lot of videos and felt like a new world opened in front of me. The interview subjects of this show are generally Japanese people living in China and Chinese people living in Japan. There are some very touching stories and experiences. The hosts' interviews flowed naturally, the production standards were high, and the key point he would often emphasize - a program without scripts. They currently have 210k followers. I think I learned about the show through a video which they interviewed the lighting engineer who made Li Zhi stage lighting effects. That episode was pretty nice.
Link: 和之梦 (In Chinese)
Blondie in China - China
Amy, from Australia, started uploading videos in 2017, featuring vlogs from traveling around China as well as the food that she found was pretty. Amy loves food and is very passionate and talkative, is able to find the beauty of life and is very good at expressing herself! Therefore, people in her experience are very open and enthusiastic to her as well. As the result, the content of her videos is very worth watching. It's got 100k followers now.
Link: Blondie in China (In English)
FoodMania Review - US
In Modern Family, Mitchell and Cameron adopted a little baby - Lily, her real name is Aubrey. On Youtube Aubrey and her comedian mother Amy run a channel together. They usually do some food and snack reviews at home, and occasionally share their experiences and interesting things in life. A very warm mother-daughter relationship that allows the audiences to get a sense of American culture and a friendly, respectful, confident and relaxed family atmosphere both on and off the show.
The very warm mother-daughter relationship can make people feel the American culture inside and outside the play and the friendly, respectful, confident and relaxed family atmosphere. The show Modern Family has finished but Lilly's little family is still with us. currently 20k followers.
Link: FoodMania Review (In English)
TheLifeOfJord - Global
An Englishman who sold all his possessions in 2014 and quit his job to start a world traveling. With 200,000 followers, he is still on his travel plans and has visited nearly 100 countries so far.
Link: TheLifeOfJord (In English)
白白国文 - Taiwan/China
The channel was created in late 2018 and currently has 70k followers. Bai Bai is a very gentle Taiwanese, and the channel was originally set up to help candidates who wanted to study for the national exam to review the Chinese language content. Nowadays, the content is very rich, including Chinese culture and language content, as well as some historical content. These topics are impossible to avoid from political arguments these days, even if you don't want to get involved in politics. Here you can see the exchange and collision of views between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, which is still relatively friendly.
Link: 白白国文 (In Chinese)
Oriental Pearl - China/Japan（Chinese/Japanese/English）
An American who started living in Asia in 2012. She started uploading videos in 2019, so the number of videos isn't quiet a lot yet. Her first video was a bad experience in all aspects of a trip to Zhangjiajie. She worked as an English teacher and attended Fudan University and Waseda University to study international relations. Now she makes videos to introduce the local culture of China and Japan in English. There are currently 50,000 followers.
Link: Oriental Pearl (Multilingual)
Someone commented that: This guy is a legend. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration. He had a dream to walk from Beijing to Bad Nenndorf. His current life is still carrying on his unfinished dreams. We dare not say how big his dreams are, it is only half a sentence, but after experiencing so many footsteps, so many friends and scenery on the road, this dream has become thick and weighty.
From November 2007 to October 2008, he walked from Beijing to Urumqi and completed TLW 1.0. From August to September 2010, he walked from Urumqi to Wusu. From 2012, he walked from Wusu to Horgos. 2016 From July to October 2017, he traveled from Khorgos to Kazakhstan all the way to Mashhad, Iran. From March to December 2018, he continued to walk from Mashhad to Baghdad, Georgia. From August to October 2019, from Baghdad, Georgia to Pershimbe, Turkey. Along the way, he saw too many people and things and published several books. He currently has 200k followers on the English language channel and 110k followers on the Chinese language channel.
Life is so full of surprises. Lele coincidentally learned Chinese, moved to China, and studied for a six-month master's course at Shanghai Theater Academy. Lele, who had planned to live in China for a while, found the recent changes in China unbearable. So Lele returned home in US and looked for different jobs, doing talk shows and writing. He was not planned to talk about the problem of China openly, but by coincidence again, with the resentment in his heart and the encouragement of his family and friends, he began to create satirical works without restraint. He currently has 20k followers on his channel.
Link: Lele Farley (Bilingual)
laowhy is an American who moved to China to teach English after getting tired of her original plan to make money in the IT industry after graduation. Laowhy has been living in China for a long time and tasted ups and downs in the context of China's rapid development and changes as a foreigner. He loves to ride motorcycles. He has traveled many places and attempt documentary filmmaking. He loves life so much and kept trying new things and new challenges! After all these years, his channel has already been rich in content. In addition, he also had a Chinese wife and a baby. He currently has 490k fans, and the earliest video was uploaded in 2012. The video on his homepage is: Why did I change my view of China?
Link: laowhy86 (In English)
Stan from Poland 斯坦說中文 - Taiwan/China/Poland
A Polish perspective on cross-strait issues. His channel has not been around long, started with some lifestyle content, then gradually added more political content. Obviously he doesn't like mainland polity and he likes Taiwan. Currently has 30k followers.
Link: Stan from Poland 斯坦說中文 (In Chinese)
陈秋实 - China
A young Chinese man with ideals and intelligence, who gave speeches, did legal lessons on TikTok, which have accumulated a large number of fans for him. However, he got banned not soon after all these. After that, he continued to produce content through WeChat/forwarding etc, but also get blocked soon. He started to ask a friend to run his YouTube account, that's pretty much when I started to know him. In 2019/2020 many things were happened so fast, he'd filmed the floods, demonstrations in Hong Kong, and the Wuhan epidemic scene. So far, he has 440k followers on Youtube. It is not difficult to guess that in the end he disappeared from the world at Wuhan. His brief bio is available on Youtube page.
Link: 陈秋实 (In Chinese)
文昭談古論今 - China
Wen Zhao is a veteran in the field of political commentary in Chinese language. He now living in Canada, has been filming his programs for many years, and run his own website. Currently he has 560k followers.
Link: 文昭談古論今 (In Chinese)
China Uncensored - China
1.3 million fans, over 4,000 sponsors on Patreon, and even more: a Korean channel with 60k followers, a Vietnamese channel with 680k fans, and a Chinese channel with 15k fans. You can say, very professional. Such a phenomenal presence, although I don't watch a lot of his videos, but it should be listed, it's worth checking out.
Link: China Uncensored (In English)
臺灣杯具 - Taiwan/China
His channel is updated very infrequently and he doesn't have many followers, only around 20k. There is a joke when his channel has new videos - Grandpa, your favorite channel is updated. The channel content is able to stand alone from the superficial mass narrative, stringing together historical facts from the past into a story of cause and effect. And he always explain things in a unique perspective, so his videos are somewhat interesting.
Link: 臺灣杯具 (In Chinese)
自由亚洲天台 - China
A real enemy's radio channel - funded by American government. They have filming stuios, nice equipment, the production standards obviously superior to some other organizations. There are some celebrity talking and political commentary shows. What are the enemy's radio channel talking about? 140k fans, welcome to listen.
Link: 自由亚洲天台 (In Chinese)
乳透社·小反旗 - China
Since the first video was released at the beginning of the New Year in 2019, the content of the program is always the same: ridicule the national prisident. It is currently with 30k subscriptions, and two videos have been played more than one million times.
Link: 乳透社·小反旗 (In Chinese)
Although I have seen other people talk about history, only Mr. Yuan's videos kept me interested all the time. Mr. Yuan is very passionate about education and history, and you can feel it graduately by watching more of his videos. From being a high school history teacher to now doing history popularization programs, he has always stuck to the same dream. People live in modern times are more or less restless and anxious, including myself, so really only interesting stories can keep people's attention. Reading a serious book is of course the proper way to learn history, but it's hard to keep a peaceful heart and the dedicated time for that. Although I have studied history for many years in the classroom, those rigid knowledge did not leave me any memories, let alone insights and own thoughts. Fortunately, Now I have Mr. Yuan to take me back to a living history class.
Mr. Yuan is the first real history teacher I met in my life.
A taiwanese blogger with 570k followers, known for his uqinue way of visualising historical events: use a game called Age of Empires interpret history. The content is popular and covers a wide range of topics.
Link: cheap (In Chinese)
My favourite chat show, they chat about things full of novelty, like a brainstorming. They are two separate groups, one is Gao (老高) and 小茉 (they live in Japan), one is Rou (老肉) and Teddy. They make great videos that are informative and fun, and with their different personal styles. Gao started the current channel in 2018, Rou was just recently started to do chat show as well. There's actually a little story between the two groups, hope they are still good friends. The style of their show is like ancient storytellers, not for telling serious scientific truth, but to keep people interested. Rou's relatively serious style is obviously not as flattering on the Internet as Gao's amusing one, but their videos are all pretty good! Their videos are always must-watch every time it comes out. 老肉 also used to do a series of eye-opening videos on small science experiments.
The combination of science frontiers and urban legends in their talk is easy to make people feel pretty curious. Their popularization and systematization of some interesting and marginal knowledge in the Chinese Internet community is a unique contribution. No doubt it will inspire audiences to think about science. Good luck to both Gao and Rou for keeping the show going, and maintaining their excellent standards. They now have 3 million and 90k followers respectively.
The slogan of paperclip team: Your modern life manual. A great concept that I've thought about as well. You cann't imagine how much knowledge is involved in every aspect of modern life - how this wonderful world is even possible?! At present most people rely on their own fumbling and experience to give their own answers. Education is lagging behind in this regard, and modern education has not yet arrived - modern education is not a modernization of technology, but a modernization of educational theory. Don't you think there's already a barrier between it and modern society? Occasionally modern technology tries to invade education in some way, like the proliferation of various apps, there are some good attempts, but most of them are just crap. Paperclips and their philosophy can be a valuable exploration. Of course, making content and making high value content need too much of carefulness for not touching sensitive areas. The teams and individuals who are still committed to making valuable and desirable content are heroes.
Link: 回形针PaperClip (In Chinese)
Possibly one of the first Chinese bloggers to start doing movie commentaries? There are currently 480k subscribers, and the commentaries are accurate and touching. A disappointment is the video cover and the exaggerated title. But it's hard to say, using a half-naked beauty as the cover is a realistic way to increase click rates. Using an exaggeratedly shocking title is a considerable amount of clicks and traffic. A lot of movies are long and the content is not easy to understand, given a cover and title for a movie and probably you won't subconsciously being curious on it. So it's not all bad, at least it attract a people to know about a movie that you might never seen it otherwise. At first I resisted watching this kind of film review program, but it was hism who gradually make me get used to it, and it gave me more chance to learn about some great movies that are not easy to discover. There is currently 490k followers.
Link: 越哥说电影 (In Chinese)
Li Yongle is also a phenomenal presence in the Chinese Internet. Li Yongle's videos are mainly about popularization of basic knowledge, scientific analysis of hot issues, doing live broadcast, sharing some of the programs he participated in, and debate competition. Through these live broadcasts and sharing, you can get to know the person of Li Yongle and his vision. A smart teacher with excellent presentation and debate skills are what he is. His videos also give a taste of the kind of person who puts words on the table and clearly expresses what his subtle thought is. So far there is a million followers now, it's been a difficult journey. Thanks for the internet making it possible for us to be students of Li Yongle.
Link: 李永乐老师 (In Chinese)
Hello, everyone, I am Shui Feng Dao. She has done several videos on book comments, around psychological subjects. I think psychology should be a mandatory course for all the people. People who are interested in psychology can see her explanations and opinions on some books from here. Interpreting books is a good direction, and there is Fan Deng in China mainland who specializes in interpreting books, and he's very famous. However, Fan Deng chose the path of making his own platform. Shui Feng Dao's followers are currently 410k.
Link: 閱部客 (In Chinese)
His life Interpretates the possibility of empowering the world by dreams - he is a piano teacher from Canada, has produced a series of piano teaching videos and music theory knowledge on YouTube for everyone to learn for free. Not only is the video very, very good, he is also a very hardworking and humorous person. His combination of music theory knowledge + piano courses may be the must-read for a self study student. I think so. His video is very worth watching for musical students. He also has biography on his website.
He likes to call himself Uncle Mummy - a serious science man. He explained his name in one of his video. Uncle Mummy's update frequency is high, maintaining a consistent style and content standard. He is very knowledgeable about science, and the cutting-edge scientific development. There are currently 140k followers.
Link: 妈咪说MommyTalk (In Chinese)
130k subscriptions. It is not so much a film commentary, as it is using a film to present the facts and reason things out. She chooses the topics that reflecting on popular events, and from the perspactive of politics, institution, humanity, and uses films to explain her thoughts and ideas.
Link: 蔷仔说电影 (In Chinese)
This channel mainly focus on explaining economic principles, and economics-related content, taking you through the economy in an easy-to-understand and visual way. It currently has 170k subscriptions.
Link: 狼爸爸的工作室 (In Chinese)
A book/video commentary channel, uploading the very first video in March 2019, explaining Intimate Relationship and subsequently produced Evolutionary Psychology, The Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy, Why Don't Students Like School, and Nonviolent Communication. The subjects are very well chosen and the animations are also excellent. Unfortunately, the author has been busy with his work and is temporarily suspended making more videos. The existing videos are still well worth watching.
Link: 墨水咸 (In Chinese)
Two cats - with 490k followers. They live in Japan and are very carefully cared for by their servants, post videos on the internet now and then to soothe your emotions and melt your heart.
Link: Pomu & Shima (In English/Japanese)
The host comes from the Middle East, mainly make videos on some kinds of electrical experiments. The channel has already gathered 3 million fans. I watched his videos on Bilibili before with subtitles, some of the experiments were very interesting, and the host was also very humorous. The English video have a lot of professional words, so it is a little difficult to watch (in fact, watching the translated video does not help a lot as you still do not know what a word really means). It's well worth following for anyone interested in electrical experiments!
Link: ElectroBOOM (In English)
This channel is known for making building models by using real steels and concrete. They have done several small projects, with a full set of real building construction plans, as well as landscaping and even the circuitry. Very amazing and it's a great way to get a feel of how the houses being built. There's currently 1.8 million followers.
Link: OUROBOROS ARQ (In English)
Selling thumb piano, 650k fans. She is from Shanghai, with own taobao shops. Of course, getting popular is not unreasonable, the video is great, and the instrument sounds really good. April occasiaonally play some popular music, attracted many fans for her.
Link: April Yang (In English)