German vlogger in China

A Vlogger in China



heavy light (3) honey (2)
tired play (3) materialistic
nag click (2) father-in-law
rant twinkle twinkle in his eye
human can’t wait fascination
way (2) latest (2) highlight (2)
tired observe phenomenon
direct handbag interaction
script criticize demanding
in-laws deal (3) pronunciation
foreign prevent hit/hit/hit (2)
attract as part of love at first sight
parody emotion meet/met/met
cute comment shake hands
blush win over shake/shook/shaken
proud demand win/won/won
include raise (3) identification (2)
Sino- stuff (2) choose/chose/chosen
fatso employee by his side
live off donation advertising
fan (2) improve couple (2)
awful show (2) deal with it
worth miss (2) mission (2)



Video: German-Chinese Vlogger



Thomans “Afu” Derksen, Vlogger: “Honey. It’s so heavy; can you help me, please?”

“Honey, I am so tired.”

He plays different roles, from materialistic wife and chain-smoking father-in-law to nagging mother-in-law. And this is what he sounds like when he starts ranting in Shanghai dialect:

The twenty-eight (28) year-old German parodies Chinese society with a twinkle in his eye. And he’s always got his wife, Zhu Liping, by his side.

Thomas Derksen, Fascination: Human Interaction: “I’m interested in criticizing and highlighting social phenomenon that I observe here, or in Germany.

And showing that it doesn’t have to be this way: you don’t have to have the latest car, or the latest phone, or the most expensive handbag.”

Zhu Liping writes the scripts and directs the videos.

Thomas Derksen, Vlogger: “My wife is very demanding: everything has to be perfect, including my pronunciation. But I just can’t do it as a foreigner.”

This hasn’t prevented Thomas Derksen from becoming a huge hit on the internet. Some of his videos attracted ten MILLION clicks.

Derksen came to China in 2012 as part of his studies. This is where he met his wife.

Zhu Liping, Emotion: Love at First Sight: “The first time I saw him, I thought, ‘This little fatso was so cute.’ He blushed when he shook my hand. So cute.

I knew I wanted to marry him.

Now, he’s my husband.”

But it wasn’t as easy to win over his in-laws.

He likes to parody them and other Chinese in-laws in his videos.

Wang Xiuzhen, Identification: Proud Mother-in-Law: “I’m fine about it, but her dad thought, ‘I’ve raised her for over twenty years. And now she’s gone and chosen a German.’ He couldn’t deal with it.

But now he likes him even more than I do; he can’t wait for the next video.”

What began as a hobby has now become a full-time job for the Sino-German couple. They’ve even got two employees.

And they can all live off of it very well — all thanks to advertising and donations from their fans.

Thomas Derksen, Mssion: to make people happy: “When I see comments from people like, ‘I felt so awful today, and I was so tired from work . . . but then I came home from work and watched your video — and I’m fine again.’

When I see stuff like that, it’s worth so much more than money.”

Thomas Derksen doesn’t miss his bank job at all — he’s much more into improving Sino-German relations.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. Thomas Derken makes video blogs most notably about Chinese food, architecture, history, nature and travel destinations. True or false?

2. Is Thomas monolingual or bilingual? Does he narrate the videos in English?

3. In his videos, he encourages viewers to study hard, work hard, save money, obey the law, and become successful and prosperous. Is this right or wrong?

4. Does Thomas make all his videos alone with a selfie and camera with a tripod?

5. He met his wife on a dating website. Is this correct or incorrect? Did he come across as very charming and charismatic to Zhu Liping? Were her parents initially delighted that their daughter was marrying a Westerner?

6. Is Thomas very popular in China? Do people think he is a crazy buffoon?

7. This is only a hobby for Thomas and Liping; his full-time job is software engineering. Yes or no?


A. I am a professional blogger, vlogger or YouTuber. True or false? Do you know anyone who does this full-time?

B. Spouses get along well with their in-laws. Always, usually, often, yes and no, sometimes, not usually, rarely, never or it depends.

C. What cultural anomalies, idiosyncrasies, annoyances can you think of?

D. Would you like to quit your current job and make videos full-time like Thomas and Liping? What would be your subject matter?

E. What might happen in the future (to Thomas and Liping, China, vlogging)?

Comments are closed.