|Born||August 17, 1980|
Cape Town, South Africa
|Total views||178.66 million|
Last updated: 08 Jul 2022
Winston Frederick Sterzel, also known by his YouTube pseudonym SerpentZA, is a South African vlogger and video producer. He lived in Shenzhen in the Guangdong province of China for fourteen years. His videos cover a variety of topics relating to Chinese politics and life in China from a Westerner's perspective.
Sterzel is of British heritage and was born and raised in South Africa. He moved to China to work as an English teacher after first visiting on business in 2005.
Career in China
In 2015, he was one of twelve South Africans in China profiled by China Radio International. He started uploading videos in China in 2007, and became a full-time vlogger in 2016. His videos primarily focus on life in China as viewed from a Westerner's perspective.
Sterzel has also made videos about motorcycle trips through China. With fellow YouTuber Matthew Tye (who goes by Laowhy86) and other friends, he has taken extended journeys and produced documentary series titled Conquering Southern China and Conquering Northern China. He and Tye operate the YouTube channel ADVChina, a motorcycle travel vlog. Sterzel was also co-founder of a small, China-based custom motorcycle business, Churchill Custom Motorcycles, that is no longer in business. In late 2018, he said he desired to create "positive content" about China, but that a negative interaction with the Chinese police spurred him to move out of China.
Career after leaving China
In 2019, Sterzel moved to Los Angeles because he felt that he would lose his life or be incarcerated in China allegedly following threats by ultranationalist Internet users, who apparently accused Sterzel's wife of being a spy and a threat to national security.
Following his departure from China, Sterzel's YouTube channel took a sharp turn into criticism of the Chinese government, using hyperbolic video titles such as "How China is slowly KILLING us all."
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- ^ Melody Yao (September 14, 2019). "American Youtubers In China: Q&A With Winston Sterzal And Matthew Tye". US-China Today.
Winston: I have lived in China for 14 years, and that is without leaving. I've done a few holidays here and there, but not many … And one word to describe my time in China would be "challenge."
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