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7 Great Podcasts to Help You Understand China

Picture of Rachel Deason
Updated: 12 December 2017
From business to food culture, the environment to history, there’s a China-centric podcast for you. With expertise and wit, these seven podcasts tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the world’s ever-rising superpower, but have been too afraid to ask.

The History of China

A history that spans 5000 years is intimidating to get through. Where do you start? Luckily, the History of China podcast answers that question for you by breaking the history up into bite-sized pieces, delivering semi-weekly audio clips covering everything from battles to emperors and everything in between. This podcast is soothing to listen to, always does its research and delves deeper into each topic than a college-level class would.

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Terracotta Warriors | ©Richard Fisher/Flickr

McKinsey on China

Run by China-based employees of prominent consulting firm McKinsey & Company, this podcast delivers incredibly useful lessons on business and economic trends affecting China. Topics covered in the past have ranged from electric vehicles to China’s unique e-commerce market. This is requisite listening for anyone who plans to do business in the greater China area.

The China in Africa Podcast

In this podcast, two journalists and Sinophiles discuss the ever-changing relationship between China and Africa. Though China is the second largest creator of jobs in Africa, shockingly few people know of the two regions’ codependency. However, China’s involvement in Africa will continue to shape global politics for years to come. With the China in Africa Podcast, you can now be on the forefront of such knowledge.

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Meeting Between China and South Africa | ©GovernmentZA/Flickr

Yellow Star

Do you know what’s happening in China this week? With Yellow Star, you will. Every episode, the host reads five pieces of China news then dissects each through a western lens for a US and European audience. Though less than a year old, this podcast has quickly found its footing and gained a dedicated following drawn to the digestible breakdown of information the podcast provides.

Environment China

You surely know that China is one of the world’s largest producers of air and water pollution, but did you know that it’s also recently vowed to expand its electric vehicle production to seven million cars by 2025? Or that, in a move that’s wildly altering global perception, it plans to replace the US as the driving force against climate change? In this bi-weekly podcast from the Beijing Energy Network, get educated about such matters and learn how entrepreneurs and experts are working to improve China’s environment.

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China Pollution | ©Global Panorama/Flickr

China Jedi

The environment, business, Africa policy, history: these are all heavy topics. For those looking for a lighter podcast that doesn’t expend so much brain power, China Jedi is perfect for you. A witty, breezy podcast, China Jedi talks candidly about expat life in China, providing comical insight into what foreigners think of living in the Middle Kingdom.

Bottled in China

In China’s big cities, namely Shanghai and Beijing, you can’t go one week without hearing news of the latest and hottest restaurants and bars. And now, you don’t have to live in those cities to get that news too. Every few weeks, Bottled in China brings you interviews with the biggest food and beverage personalities in China, talking food and booze with the most important innovators you’ve never heard of.

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Construction Worker with Chinese Beer | ©Kristoffer Trolle/Flickr