A lot of Chinese learners find they want to get hold of authentic news content about real-life current events in China by reading easy Chinese news articles. Finding Chinese news articles, particularly for beginners, can prove a bit of a challenge – especially when you are not yet at a level to access native Chinese newspapers. We’re here to help! We have collected some news websites that are adapted to those at the beginning of their Chinese language learning journey.
The key thing with building on our current language level is to read content in the target language at your reading level so that the content is digestible and clear to understand. Knowing if you’re beginner, intermediate, or advanced and your HSK Mandarin level is a great place to start. There are online tests to find out what your Chinese reading level is at this point in your learning journey. Once you have an idea about where you sit on the language level scale, you can dive into reading level-appropriate Chinese news below!
7 Sources of Easy Chinese News Articles for Beginners
- The Chairman’s Bao
- My Chinese Reading
- HSK Reading Beginner Articles
- Fluent U
- BBC Chinese News
- South China Morning Post
- Du Chinese
7 Easy Chinese News Articles for Beginners and More Advanced Learners
You can access easy Chinese news articles at beginner’s HSK 1 level through The Chairman’s Bao. All articles are written by native speakers within the HSK Chinese reading level criteria and there is always fresh, new and engaging content to read. Up to six new articles are published daily (1,600 news article-based lessons per year!). You can gain access to a vocabulary list with each free sample article to try out the platform and short HSK grammar explanations based on the HSK guidelines.
The Chairman’s Bao also provides a live dictionary where you can listen to audio for each character and check the stroke order and practice writing.
You also have the choice to save any character that you click on in the dictionary to your personal Learning Hub and test on the flashcard system. The Chairman’s Bao covers topics from panda conservation, to the latest and upcoming technology in China, to food locals eat during Chinese New Year and The Dragonboat Festival. You can access The Chairman’s Bao through both the website and mobile app (tablet/smartphone).
My Chinese Reading
My Chinese Reading offers a great range of beginner-friendly easy Chinese news articles about business/politics, science, history, culture and contemporary issues. There are also extracts of works of Chinese creative writing, short stories and diaglogue extracts.
HSKReading beginner articles are all written by native Chinese speakers and there are a huge variety of easy Chinese beginner’s reading materials. HSKReading is an ideal tool for Mandarin language learners for vocabulary-building, key grammar sentence structure practice and all news articles feature relevant topics about modern day Chinese life and culture.
FluentU is a fantastic resource, full to the brim with news articles targeted at your chosen reading level. It also features native speaker-quality video and transcripts which offer material such as trailers and advertisements from the target county and clips from the country and level-appropriate TV series and films. You can practice listening and repeating dialogue audio, visuals, transcripts, music videos and interviews. We would highly recommend FluentU!
BBC Chinese News
BBC Chinese News offers BBC World Service news in Mandarin with clips for a full immersion experience. You can also access CBeebies (for kids), The Lingo Show for easy Mandarin listening, Primary Mandarin with engaging games and activities to improve your level, as well as a wealth of resources from HSK appropriate news articles. Learn through video lessons, TV transcripts, Chinese tone pronunciation guide and animations for how to write Chinese characters in the correct stroke order.
South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post (南华早报出版有限公司) is a great resource to explore as the news company writes bilingual articles in both English and Mandarin. However, it is a lot more challenging, so go for this one if you want to really push yourself or you are already an advanced Chinese reader. Our advice would be to read the English version to learn more about the culture and to read the one in Mandarin for building on your reading level and keeping up to date with the latest Chinese news topics and headlines happening in the country. The best way to get access to the SMCP Mandarin version would be to follow their Facebook page and other social media channels. Following news companies can be a fantastic tool for staying in the loop about the latest news in your target language.
Du Chinese focuses on Chinese culture specifically and is a great reading resource for those learning Chinese at beginner’s level, but with slightly less regular updates. You can get access to English translations of the articles which is an added bonus. Not only will the app help tremendously with beginner’s level reading comprehension, but it will also really help with listening comprehension. Du Chinese provides articles from HSK levels 1-6. You can access pinyin, pronunciation help with an audio guide, English translations of the over 1,000 Chinese lessons with 5-6 new lessons added to the app each week. All lessons feature easy word lookup by tapping on any word. Du Chinese also provides the option to learn how to write each character.
Why Reading Chinese News Websites is Good Practice
The biggest positive about reading easy Chinese news articles is that it can really help put the target language into context. News articles are generally free from confusing idiomatic vocabulary and are written in clear, standardised Chinese and thus much easier to understand for non-native speakers. Reading the news is a great way of staying connected to Chinese culture and what’s going on in the country by expanding your knowledge about the hottest topics in the Chinese-speaking word right now!
What Are the Main Benefits of Being Able to Read Chinese News Articles?
- Gain enormous cultural perspective about the Mandarin-speaking world.
- Expand vocabulary exponentially by reading real-world, contemporary examples.
- Language is significantly more digestible than reading books in Chinese.
- Progress towards uncovering the exciting world of chengyu.
- Be exposed to a variety of different sentence structures.
- Learn more about the different contexts for the new vocabulary you have learned.
- Read engaging topics such as travel, culture and sports.
How to Get Started Reading Easy Chinese Language News Websites
- Have a read through the headlines – the font is larger and this can give you a rough idea about the topic that you are going to be reading. Use this as a warm-up!
- Start by having a look at the characters that you recognise — this will really help build your confidence about how much you already know and will give you a rough idea about the context of the sentence.
- Next, look up a handful of the new characters you come across. Jot them down to help with getting a bigger picture about the context of the article!
- Choose a select few Chinese news websites that you like and stick to those to read Chinese regularly and build it into your daily study tool-kit!
How to Advance on to the Next Reading Level, Transitioning from Beginner to Intermediate and Intermediate to Advanced
- Read HSK reading materials in a mixture of English and Mandarin, peppered with pinyin and the occasional Chinese character. Move onto reading in just pinyin with Chinese characters, then all Chinese characters with pinyin underneath. Tackle reading in only Chinese characters once you have built confidence!
- Find reading material that challenges you enough but isn’t too daunting. We recommend short articles, comics or transcripts, as well as subtitles under films and short stories.
- Use the Bee Lingua app which is another fantastic reading resource for listening to popular fairy tales in Chinese. This app allows you to read along in both Mandarin and Pinyin, with characters on one side and the English translation on the other.
On the Subject of Reading Books in the Target Language…
Although all the popular classics are available on Kindle in Mandarin, we would suggest sticking to reading childrens’ stories/fairy tales versions of the Chinese mythology/folk tales or really short stories. You can then work your way up to reading longer material that won’t seem overwhelming. Social media posts and reading blogs in Chinese are also ideal tools for reading practice as they are chock-a-block full of popular culture references, idioms and modern-day slang. This can be very handy if you want to pick up some of the latest lingo and phrases and sound like a native speaker!
We hope the easy Chinese news articles for beginners provided help you in your journey with learning Mandarin Chinese and wish you the best of luck. You’ve got this!
India is a current part-time masters student studying MA Languages, Culture and Translation and did her undergraduate degree in BA (Hons) Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese. She has studied and worked abroad and completed cultural exchanges in six different countries: Costa Rica, China, France, the US, Italy and Spain. India is passionate about learning about different cultures, perspectives, loves international food, music and film and learning something new.