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The 8 Best Chinese Drama Websites to Watch C-Dramas Online

With the overwhelming international popularity of dramas, watching Mandarin Chinese TV shows has become more common. But, considering that many Mandarin learners live outside of Asia, it can be a little challenging to find and watch these shows easily.

Here are four of the safest, most reliable and subtitle-friendly Chinese drama websites online.


1. YouTubewhere-to-watch-chinese-drama

YouTube is a popular service that many watch every day. It’s completely free (with ads). If the ads don’t bother you and you have TV connectivity set up (as with all of the sites mentioned in this list), you’re good to go.

YouTube has pretty much anything you can imagine. Music videos. Makeup tutorials. Cat videos. It can be hard to navigate such a wild and massive world of a website with years’ worth of content being uploaded daily.

And yes, there are full-length Chinese dramas on YouTube—free to all—with subtitles.

You just have to know where to look, since you’re dealing with such a big site with so much varied content.

Of course, you can easily enter the show or drama you’re looking for into the search bar, but if you don’t know where to start, it helps to familiarize yourself with a few good channels that offer Mandarin-language dramas with English subtitles.

CN Drama where-to-watch-chinese-drama

CN Drama is owned by media company NetDrama and is the English version of their YouTube channel entirely in Chinese, which, depending on your level, you may also benefit from checking out.

They regularly upload dramas from mainland China for those in the Chinese diaspora such as Taiwan and Malaysia, but their CN Drama channel is aimed at English speakers, with titles in English and subtitles on each upload with no wait.

Their channel offers both modern-day and historical/costume dramas.

HunanTV where-to-watch-chinese-drama

HunanTV is owned by China’s second-most-watched TV station after CCTV (which also has a YouTube channel).

For this reason, it seems the programming is much more varied, with quite a few reality shows, variety shows and, of course, dramas. Often, the content doesn’t have translations or subtitles, but that’s no issue if you’re an advanced learner.

2. Netflix where-to-watch-chinese-drama

Another service that’s near-universal these days, Netflix affords great ease of access for learners searching for dramas without searching genre-specific sites. With plenty of options offered beyond just Chinese-language dramas, it’s worth the price of a subscription for learners. Make sure you double-check the translations of subtitles.

Netflix has tons of international TV shows and movies, including Chinese dramas. It also pays attention to your viewing history and caters well to your preferences.

You can search by genre easily. Searching “Mandarin language shows” or “Chinese dramas” brings up plenty of options, including some Mandarin-language movies.

And all of them have English subtitles for those who need their assistance (whether the content is offered in the original language may vary).

Many more Mandarin dramas are showing up in the “Trending” section. For example, one popular new show is a Netflix Original titled “Meteor Garden,” a romantic drama starring Shen Yue.

Plus, there are no ads. But that means you need a paid subscription to access the site, which may not fit your budget. Though it gives you a solid excuse to go over to your Netflix-having friend’s house’s and crash on their couch!

Just be wary of the quality of the subtitles. International streaming platforms like Netflix aren’t always accurate in their translations.

It’s good to have a program like FluentU to supplement this.

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You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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3. Crunchyroll where-to-watch-chinese-drama

Crunchyroll is heavy on anime, but light on dramas in Chinese. You can be certain about the content having English subs, though. There are also some movies from China and Singapore. The site is updated frequently, so check back often.

This is a website primarily geared towards anime. But they’ve decided to include more than just anime and manga, offering a wide range of movies and dramas from across East Asia.

Since it’s more of a premium service, most content on the site is subtitled in English. There are several shows from Chinese-speaking countries like China and Singapore, though the selection is more limited.

Another observation is that many of the shows offered in Chinese have a gritty edge, with less fluffier offerings than their Japanese and Korean counterparts.

That limited selection might be a con if you’re not interested in the shows offered, but thankfully, the shows that are carried on this site are often updated.

Crunchyroll offers free content, like YouTube. But also like YouTube, there are ads that may hinder your viewing experience. For higher-quality video and an ad-free experience, a subscription can be purchased after a free trial.

4. Viki where-to-watch-chinese-drama

Viki is one of the best sites for watching Chinese-language dramas and other media in the language. This site has a lot to offer for all tastes. If you don’t mind the typical ads and waiting for subtitles on certain shows, then you’re good to go.

Viki caters almost exclusively to fans of TV series and movies from East Asia. But it’s a lot more than that. You can also find Bollywood films, telenovelas, anime and much, much more. The international appeal is outstanding.

There are hundreds of shows and movies from China and Taiwan. On the pages specific to countries and the main page, which are akin to Netflix’s “Trending” section, it’s easy to find great shows based on what’s currently popular.

One of the highest-rated series from China on the site currently is a historical drama called “Legend of Fuyao,” starring actress Yang Mi.

If more modern drama is your thing, another recent popular series is an idol drama starring popular singer and actor Lu Han called “Sweet Combat,” also from China.

The only con would be that subtitles on the site are community-sourced, and sometimes new episodes might be added before subtitles are. But depending on your preferences and learning level, that could be a good thing, especially if you’re an advanced Mandarin learner.

Back to the website. Viki also offers the all-too-common “improved quality if you get a subscription” deal. Depending on your tastes, this may or may not be worth it.

5. 土豆网 (Tǔ Dòu Wǎng) Tudou TV Tudou Logo

Tudou is a video sharing site, and can be compared to YouTube, though most of the videos on Tudou will be significantly longer. You can find all sorts of video categories from full-length movies to clips on sports and fashion.

You may have to browse through several choices to find videos with Chinese subtitles, but there are plenty of options available for the same title, allowing you to choose from the best quality and experience.

6. 优酷 (Yōu Kù) Youku TVYouku Logo

As Tudou TV and Youku TV have recently merged into one company, you may find similarities between the two. However, at this point in time, they are different enough that it’s worth searching on both. Both websites use soku as their search engine for videos.

7. QQ TV

Another excellent search engine for Chinese dramas online is QQ TV. QQ Player is also available for download, which can make the process easier. You may find that watching the videos at certain off hours (according to the Chinese Standard Time) with less traffic will help with loading issues.

8. 搜狐 (Sōuhú) SoHu TVSohu Tv Logo

If all the other search engines fail you, you can also try SoHu TV. It is a very similar layout to the other websites and it’s also available in a convenient app form.

The Benefits of Learning Through Chinese Dramas

Dramas help you gain better listening skills. Many people acknowledge that when you don’t hear a spoken language often, you have a tendency to forget what you know.

In addition, repetition of words and phrases found in drama dialogue can make those words and phrases stay in your mind.

For the most part, these shows are built almost entirely around conversations, so you frequently find yourself hearing everyday phrases that are well worth memorizing and remain effective to use.

With all its benefits and the ease and convenience of just watching and listening versus studying, this method of learning has proven to be not only effective but also fun.


These websites are some of the best for locating shows that suit your fancy—whether it be comedy, romance, period dramas or something else.

Just remember not to relax too much—your brain won’t be able to learn anything!

And One More Thing...

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FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

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Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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