The Chairman’s Bao Review: A Powerful Tool for Learning Chinese

June 27, 2023

Finding exciting, genuinely interesting content can be one of the biggest challenges for language learners. Thankfully, online resources are getting better and better these days, and none more so than The Chairman’s Bao (or TCB for short)!

In this TCB review, we will explore what the platform has to offer, and discover how it can help you improve your Chinese.

What is The Chairman's Bao?

The Chairman's Bao is a comprehensive website and app that offers an extensive range of Mandarin learning resources. The platform is designed for learners at all levels, from beginner to advanced. It offers engaging and authentic content written in simplified Chinese characters, along with pinyin and English translations.

They have a website and an excellent app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

App Store preview of the TCB app

How does The Chairman's Bao work?

Although there are many Chinese reading resources out there, The Chairman’s Bao remains unique. On this platform, you’ll be learning Chinese through authentic news articles which cover a broad range of topics including current events, culture, lifestyle, and business. By engaging with TCB’s real-life content, learners are exposed to the language in a much more meaningful way than what you’d find in your average textbook.

TCB news based lessons

The platform also offers features like audio recordings, vocabulary annotations, and grammar explanations, which aid in comprehension and pronunciation practice. Furthermore, the articles are categorized according to HSK level. Revising your HSK vocabulary in the context of real-world events is a super useful way to consolidate your learning, making TCB one of the best resources for your HSK exam, in fact, it's one of the tools that helped me pass the HSK 4.

How can Chairman's Bao help improve my Chinese?

The Chairman's Bao offers numerous benefits for learners of Mandarin. Firstly, it enhances reading comprehension skills by providing diverse and authentic content. Reading news articles and feature stories enables learners to grasp the nuances of the language and gain insights into Chinese culture and society.

Secondly, TCB promotes vocabulary expansion. Each article includes vocabulary annotations, allowing learners to easily access definitions and translations. By encountering new words and phrases in context, users can reinforce their understanding and memorization of vocabulary.

Thirdly, The Chairman's Bao improves listening skills through its audio recordings. Learners can listen to native speakers reading the articles aloud, helping them develop proper pronunciation and intonation. This feature is particularly useful for improving listening comprehension, an essential aspect of language learning.

Fourthly, for those focusing on writing Mandarin, with the click of a button you can see the stroke order of individual characters found in the articles, and there’s even a tool to practice writing characters correctly.

TCB’s grammar explanations are also very useful. Learners can explore the grammatical structures used in the articles, deepen their understanding of them, and apply them in their own speaking and writing. Amazing!

The Pros: What makes The Chairman's Bao great?

One of the biggest advantages of The Chairman's Bao is its extensive and constantly updated content library. With new articles added regularly, its readers have access to a vast range of interesting topics, encouraging them to engage with the language on a consistent basis.

On top of that, the platform provides customization options for different types of learners. Users can adjust the difficulty level, filter for preferred topics, and even bookmark articles for future reference. This flexibility allows learners to tailor their learning experience and focus on content that interests them.

TCB features

Regarding design, you’ll find TCB’s user interface is very user-friendly and intuitive. The sleek and intuitive layout makes navigation easy, allowing learners to focus on the content without distractions. TCB also functions seamlessly across devices - the ability to work from your desktop, phone or tablet makes TCB a very flexible and convenient tool.

The Cons: What is The Chairman's Bao lacking for Chinese learning?

As we can see from this Chairman’s Bao review, the platform is full of great features - however, it is worth noting that there is still room for improvement. One aspect is the limited availability of interactive exercises and quizzes. Although the platform primarily focuses on reading and listening skills, incorporating interactive activities could enhance the overall learning experience and provide more opportunities for practice and reinforcement.

Does TCB include flashcards?

Yes, The Chairman's Bao includes a flashcard feature. Learners can create personalized flashcards from the vocabulary annotations in the articles. This feature facilitates vocabulary retention and allows for easy review, enabling learners to reinforce their knowledge and expand their vocabulary bank.

Is The Chairman's Bao free?

The Chairman's Bao offers both free and paid subscription options. While the free version provides access to only a very limited selection of articles, a subscription unlocks the full potential of the platform, offering unlimited access to all articles, audio recordings, and additional features.

How much does The Chairman's Bao subscription cost?

The Chairman's Bao offers affordable subscription plans. The pricing differs depending on the duration of your subscription, with options ranging from monthly to lifetime plans. Costs currently go from $5.8 to $10 per month.

Tip: Save 15% off your first TCB subscription by using the discount code culture15.

Is The Chairman's Bao worth it?

Yes, absolutely! The Chairman's Bao offers a broad range of resources and features that ought to be in any learner’s toolkit. Its engaging news content, supplemented with audio recordings, vocabulary annotations, and grammar explanations, make it an invaluable tool for all learners, regardless of their HSK level. The platform's intuitive interface and customization options add even more value to the learning experience, making it well worth the investment.

What are some sites similar to The Chairman's Bao?

For those looking for alternative platforms to The Chairman's Bao, Du Chinese is another excellent resource for Mandarin learners. Du Chinese offers a similar approach, providing a vast collection of graded articles with audio recordings, vocabulary definitions, and translation features. Exploring multiple platforms can help diversify your learning experience and expose you to different kinds of learning materials.


The Chairman's Bao is a powerful tool for Mandarin language learners, offering authentic and engaging content that enhances reading, listening, and vocabulary skills. With its user-friendly interface, customization options, and additional features, it provides an immersive learning experience. Its alignment with the different HSK levels is also a big bonus. As should be clear from this TCB review, it is a top choice for those seeking to master Mandarin and gain insights into Chinese culture through real-world content.

About the Author

David Lee is a Mandarin enthusiast and hotpot fiend hailing from Ireland.