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Foreign vloggers reveal the real China to global audiences

foreign vloggers in China

Foreign vloggers like Sammy and Tommy showcase their authentic experiences in China, dispelling stereotypes and highlighting the country’s modernity, safety, and friendly locals through popular social media platforms.

When Sammy and Tommy, an adventure travel couple from the United States, embarked on their journey through China, they never imagined how it would unfold. Reflecting on their trip, the couple expressed their astonishment in a video on their YouTube channel, “Sammy and Tommy,” which has around 174,000 subscribers.

“Beijing has not been what we expected at all. I definitely expected it to be a loud, crazy, noisy city and it’s truly been the complete opposite. Everything is so green and people have been so friendly,” they shared passionately.

Sammy and Tommy are among many foreigners who have visited China and been astounded by its efficient public transport services, widespread use of cashless payments, and other “life hacks.” Through platforms like YouTube and TikTok, these vloggers share their experiences, offering a glimpse into the real China while dispelling common stereotypes and misconceptions.

For many, it is their first visit to China, and they find their experiences far exceed expectations. Their videos showcase immaculate public spaces, secure nighttime strolls, and cutting-edge infrastructure like high-speed trains.

“What I saw really surprised me,” said Josie from Sydney, Australia, who has some 977,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel “josie lifts things,” in a video of her time in Shanghai. “The constant smiles, the curious kids, and the general friendliness of everyone we met made me feel so comfortable and welcome in a country I was honestly really worried about visiting,” she said in a video that garnered over three million views and about 52,000 likes.

China has also implemented policies to facilitate easier access for foreign tourists. Nationals from 54 countries are eligible for 72/144-hour transit visa-free policies at 38 ports across 18 provincial-level regions. During visa-free stays, tourists can engage in short-term activities like travel and business visits. Additionally, a visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from over a dozen countries allows entry via cruise ships along China’s coastline.

Thanks to these favorable policies, an increasing number of foreign tourists are choosing to explore China, venturing beyond megacities like Beijing and Shanghai to discover its more remote corners. Official data show that the number of foreigners visiting China in the first quarter of this year increased more than threefold compared to the same period last year. A total of 466,000 visas were issued to foreigners, up 118.8 percent year on year. Nearly 1.99 million foreigners entered China visa-free, a year-on-year increase of 266.1 percent.

On social media platforms, travel videos tagged with “ChinaTravel” are trending as international tourists flock to famed scenic spots.

Canadian vlogger Kourosh Kamyabi shared his motivation for visiting China and documenting his journey. After seeing negative portrayals of China by some Western media outlets, he decided to see the country with his “own eyes.” “So I went to Shanghai and I was shocked. It’s very safe and clean. I actually saw a lot of advancements that we don’t have in Canada, and I love the city’s subway system,” Kamyabi noted.

“Western media reports about China rarely touch on the country’s modern development and improvement of people’s lives,” said Wang Weijia, director of the Institute of Global Communication at Peking University. The streamlined visa process facilitates foreigners to record authentic perceptions of a real China and share their perspectives with a global audience, which is good for eliminating stereotypes, Wang added.

Through the eyes of foreign vloggers, global audiences are getting a fresh, authentic view of China, highlighting the country’s advancements and the warmth of its people, thus reshaping international perceptions.

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.