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Winston Sterzel

Winston Frederick Sterzel[1] (born 17 August 1980)[2], also known by his YouTube pseudonym SerpentZA, is a South African vlogger and video producer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.[3]

Winston Sterzel
Picture of Winston Sterzel, also known as SerpentZA in Shenzhen.jpg
Winston Sterzel, also known as SerpentZA in Shenzhen
Personal information
Born (1980-08-17) August 17, 1980 (age 37)
Cape Town, South Africa
Nationality British South African
Residence Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Occupation Full-time YouTuber
Spouse(s) Sasha Hu
YouTube information
Channel SerpentZA, churchillcustoms
Years active 2008 - present
Genre China Vlogs
Subscribers 207,446
Total views 32,890,550
Associated acts

Matthew Tye (Laowhy86)

ADV China (show with Matthew Tye)
Catchphrase(s) Stay Awesome!
Variations of "Bunch of nonsense"
Subscriber and view counts updated as of August 19, 2017 (2017-08-19).

Known for covering a variety of topics related to life in China, from a Westerner's perspective, Winston is the first ever English-language vlogger on YouTube from within Mainland China (Started in 2007 when youtube was still not blocked in China). [4]



Winston was born in Cape Town, South Africa. His maternal grandparents are from England, while his paternal grandparents are from Germany. [5][6]

Winston remained in Johannesburg until February 2006, when he liquidated his assets and left for Shenzhen, where he has lived since moving to China.[5]

Sterzel started to make videos on YouTube in 2008 with a focus on motorcycle repairs. He started his China Vlogs in 2009, with the first videos specifically about Mainland China, regarding scams in Shanghai (December 2009).

Sterzel also shares a YouTube channel called ADVChina with his friend Matthew Tye, who is known as laowhy86 and C-Milk on YouTube. Winston and Matthew also have their own Custom motorcycle business, Churchill Custom Motorcycles.[7][8]


Sterzel has starred in and helped produce two television travel documentaries, the first of which "Conquering Southern China" currently holds a 9.4 on IMDB [9] and is available on multiple online platforms as well as American TV. The second documentary "Conquering Northern China" was successfully crowdfunded to the total of £54,953 with a total of 2112 backers on April 25, 2017 [10] principal shooting has already finished and the show is expected to be released before the end of 2017.


Criticism from Chinese Internet CommunityEdit

Since 2017, SerpentZA and ADVChina's videos draw many criticisms from the Chinese Internet community, which accuse him of using sensational video titles and thumbnail pictures that objectify Chinese women and generalize Chinese people negatively as clickbait more frequently starting from the third quarter of 2016. The critics argue that the change of his video style is intended to attract more views.[11] In 2016, Sterzel resigned his previous job as an English teacher for doctors and started to solely rely on making videos for income.[12]

China Global TimesEdit

In May of 2016, China's Global Times newspaper commented in an article about Sterzel's video China, How it is - Are Chinese girls easy. The article criticized Sterzel for generalizing Chinese women and the video being borderline-racist.[13] The video however discusses the fact that cross cultural relationships are incredibly difficult and although easy to start, are very difficult to maintain. [14] Sterzel married a Chinese national in 2015.


  1. ^ "Specialist-BETTER INFORMATION CONSULTING COMPANY". Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "SerpentZA". Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  3. ^ "Winston Sterzel (@serpentza) - Twitter". Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "PRD People: English Teacher Winston Sterzel | The Nanfang". The Nanfang. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2017-03-19. 
  5. ^ a b serpentza (10 February 2017). "Expat, Sexpat, RACIST, Loser!". Retrieved 21 July 2017 – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ serpentza (21 May 2013). "British? South African? What's the deal?". Retrieved 21 July 2017 – via YouTube. 
  7. ^ "Security Check Required". Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "3 Expats and A Two-Wheeled bike Dream - Custom Start-Up". 4 January 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  9. ^ "Conquering Southern China (2016)". Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  10. ^ "Conquering Northern China -- Adventure/Travel Series". Kickstarter. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "如何看待youtube上的外国人serpentZA? - 知乎". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  12. ^ "I'm QUITTING my job! - YouTube". Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  13. ^ Times, Global. "Why Westerners think Chinese girls are ‘easy’ - Global Times". Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  14. ^ "China, How it is - Are Chinese girls easy? - YouTube". Retrieved 2017-07-04. 

External linksEdit