Winston Sterzel and Nathan Rich are two popular and controversial foreigners living in China. Both have won tens of thousands of fans in China respectively, as well as followers on Youtube.
Sterzel is famous for his videos about motorcycle trips through China. One on a journey to Guilin amassed almost a million views.
Nathan is well-known for his challenging the New York Time’s piece on cancer treatment in Chinese hospitals. It is said that video has over 10 million views in China.
China is truly a great country and the Chinese people really great people. And we must cut a clear line between the Chinese Communist Party and China (or the Chinese people). The Communist Party cannot represent the wonderful culture and traditions of Great China with a long history.
Whether negative or positive, criticisms or appraisals, China should have a widened-mind to embrace both of them, and more.
About Winston Sterzel
Sterzel (SerpentZA on Youtube) is of German-British heritage;he was born and grew up in South Africa. He moved to China in his mid-twenties to work as an English teacher after first visiting on business in 2005. He now lives with his Chinese wife in Shenzhen.
Sterzel started uploading videos in China in 2007 and became a full-time vlogger in 2016. His videos primarily focus on introducing Westerners to China and helping them with visiting and living there; sometimes he interviews people on controversial topics by Chinese standards.
With Matthew Tye (C-Milk, Laowhy86) and other friends, he has taken extended journeys and produced documentary series titled Conquering Southern China and Conquering Northern China, for which he and Tye raised money on Kickstarter so that the trip and the episodes could be longer. He operates the YouTube channel ADVChina with Tye.
About Nathan Rich
Nathan came from a single parent family and lived in an abusive environment in California as a teenager. He currently lives in China.
Nathan is a technical executive and content creator. He served in several companies, and was the Chief Technology Officer at a visual effects company in China called Base FX, until 2018.
In 2018, he resigned and started a content company called Team Hotpot. The same year, Team Hotpot released a video parodying Dolce & Gabbana’s Shanghai event promotion video to Chinese social media. The video got over 20 million views in a single day, eventually growing to over 100 million views.
Rich’s brand Team Hotpot has produced several videos. One of the videos was re-posted by the Chinese central government via the Communist Youth League of China and The People’s Daily.
In January 2019, Team Hotpot released a video critical of a The New York Times-produced video called “Inside China’s Predatory Healthcare System.” Rich alleged their video was biased against China and had lies and intentional mistranslations. The video was widely circulated within China.
Rich gave an interview to Global Times in 2019 about Xinjiang, in which he said “The use of the word ‘camp’ or ‘concentration camp’ has a negative connotation in English, which directly invokes imagery of Nazis and Nazism,” and that “comparing Nazism and the Chinese government is “totally insane.”
Why Winston likes China?
In one of his videos entitled “What I love most about China”, Winston said, “I absolutely love China. And one of the main reasons I love China is the amount of people, the feeling of togetherness, community that you find in China. Family and togetherness and the whole social well-being, and the way things are netted together in China is actually something which have always impressed me feel very welcomed and happy in China.”
Why Nathan likes China?
Nathan said in an interview with Tencent, “I do always love America and America has amazing qualities, a lot of good stuff about it. But I also love China. For me, this is where I want to live, and I can’t see that changing.”
“Life in America for me is similar; there is more opportunities, because there are a lot more vision effects companies. But also a bit more dangerous, a lot more driving. There are amazing people in both countries, so I enjoy both. But for me, this is such a more rich culture. If you take the time to appreciate it, then you will have a wonderful time.”
What some of the viewers think about Winston (SerpentZA) and Nathan’s views about China?
After searching for their main videos and comments that follow, I might largely agree to this statement, “SerpentZA and Laowhy86 used to be pretty fair and objective, but not anymore, at least Nathan is honest about his past and he has changed a lot since.”
The following are some more comments from viewers, but may not reflect a true picture of what is more accurate or objective:
“I have always loved your videos and really liked how you have been critical of the China, but still kept a balanced and objective perspectives for and against China and Chinese people. But I find your videos are becoming very one sided these days. I just hope you’re not being sensationalist to pandering to a anti China bias to get clicks.” — fred smith
“I sided with Nathan Rich. He is on the money regarding the New York Time hit piece. SerpentZA used to be good years ago when he doesn’t have an agenda and just documented his every day life in China, the good, the bad and the ugly. But since then he is just spewing sensational nonsense to gain viewership. He lives off of the support of his YouTube subscribers and that is the reason.” – PomegranateChocolate
“I’m 100% on Nathan Rich’s side. His previous criminal record is irrelevant. He is honest, clearly displays facts to support his statements, and subtitles his videos in Chinese, so the locals are free to read it. Those other two morons are pretty much the exact opposite, please watch the “one Belt” episode on ADV to see just how absurd, uninformed and incorrect they are, spewing out their ridiculous opinions as if they are actually facts. It is cringeworthy at best.” – luke breust
“I followed Winston and Laowhy86 for some years and noticed the change that you mentioned. Not only did they turn to more anti china videos, but having lived in China for a few years now, I know that they are also factually inaccurate or just plain ignorant or selective of what they see and hear.” – Jari Lahdenpera
“The best time for foreigners in China was 1978- 2008, and everything will be the past, forever. SerpentZA was disrespected not because he exposed some negative Chinese messages, but because he cheated his fans of his true identity.” – Milo Zhang
“I have watched Winston videos for many years, in his early videos, to be honest, it is relatively objective. I also glad he can point out few deficits of Chinese society. But since two years ago, don’t know why, he changed a lot.” – Ke Hu
”I dont trust Nathan either, he was actually using Serpentza to get viral in the first place. Granted, winston used video titles that intentionally makes china look bad, but I think thats mostly for business reasons. He might be wrong every here and there but thats far from what Nathan has depicted.” – TheTaijunian
“My grandpa was tortured to death and my grandma was starved to death, there is no way I will ever take side with China. And that is why I will always side with serpentZa because I know the true face of current Chinese government, nothing of the government is ever changed (btw nice video quality, clearly higher standard compare with others) – Yeqing Hua
“There is no need to ask the question “which side you will be on”. These days, answers to that question are no longer dependent on facts. When our world is full of prejudice, arrogance and brain washed minds, people have already taken side way before any dust could settle.” – G11-pete.garmud
By Winnie Troppie