Short Biography


Thomas Derksen, born in 1988 in Gummersbach, Germany, came to China for the first time during a school exchange in 2007.


After graduating from high school, he completed his training as a banker at Kreissparkasse Köln and subsequently studied economics and politics in East Asia as well as Modern Chinese at the Ruhr-University Bochum and Fudan University Shanghai.


Since 2016, he lives and works with his Chinese wife in Shanghai. 




Thomas Derksen was born as the youngest of six children on 26.10.1988 in Gummersbach, NRW, Germany.


During his high school years, from 2005-2007 he took part in a Chinese language course at the Engelbert-von-Berg-Gymnasium. 

As part of an extended class trip to the Far East Thomas Derksen set foot for the first time on Chinese soil in 2007 and fell instantly in love with the Middle Kingdom.


After graduating from high school he first completed training as a professional banker at Kreissparkasse Köln. However, since he was not interested in selling insurance and stock portfolios for the rest of his life, so he began studying Economics and Politics of East Asia and Modern Chinese at the Ruhr University in Bochum. From 2013 to 2014, he supplemented this with a one-year stay at the Fudan University Shanghai, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


After graduating, he worked as the China representative of a German medium-sized business.


In March 2016, he released his first video, which went viral immediately after being posted and was clicked and shared millions of times.


He was awarded several times for his videos, for example he was honored as one of Shanghai's "Most Influential Persons" in 2017, honored with the "Most Creative Creator Award (IMS)" in Los Angeles, and honored by China's largest social media platform, Sina Weibo, as the "German-Chinese Friendship Ambassador."


In recent years, Thomas Derksen has been on numerous television programs, including the most popular talk show in China, the JinXing Show and on Germany's ZDF with Markus Lanz.


He also works with the German Embassy in China on various projects. He showed his Chinese audience in two videos that learning German helps much more than just the ability to flawless order beer and sausage in German.


In December 2018, he took part in the six-day state visit of the German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the People's Republic of China.


Thomas Derksen made his debut as an author in Heyne Verlag in April 2019 with his German book "The Tiger Father Greets You Everyday".


He lives and works with his wife Liping in Shanghai.