Mike Chen was born on December 22, 1980. The prominent YouTuber, digital entrepreneur, T.V. show host, and political activist, best known for his quirky food vlogs, travel series, and criticism of the Chinese government, celebrates his birthday with friends from all over the world. Millions of people live vicariously through Chen’s YouTube videos. We hope this birthday brings him the same kind of joy that he spreads around the world.
Mike Chen was born on December 22, 1980, in Xian, China. His family moved to the U.S. when he was eight years old. Chen’s parents owned a Chinese buffet chain and traveled extensively. Young Chen routinely took trips with his father to execute various on-site projects and catering locations, which built his love for food and travel. Before diverting to a full-time YouTube career, Chen completed his undergraduate from Truman State University and took a job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Following his brief stint as a federal agent, Chen joined Morgan Stanley as a financial analyst.
Chen’s life took a turn in 2006, when he adopted Falun Gong, a Chinese religious practice. In his exploration of the practice, Chen became keenly aware of the persistent human rights violations that take place in mainland China. Half a decade later, Chen joined the non-profit media company New Tang Dynasty Television as Head of Digital Strategy. In the following years, Chen worked at the firm and filmed weddings to earn extra cash on the side. In 2013, he combined his passion for food and filming and launched his first YouTube channel for personal vlogs.
Chen formed a formidable fanbase with his personal YouTube channel in just two short years. In 2015, he created his second channel with creative partner Dan Chen and started posting commentary on events in China. Chen’s YouTube channel has won international acclaim and the ire of the Chinese government. Counting among Dan’s fans are foodies, human rights activists, millions of Chinese immigrants, and critics of the Communist regime of China. With 11 channels, thousands of videos, and billions of views later, Chen is a YouTube force with millions of fans.
Chen quits his job at Morgan Stanley and joins a non-profit institution.
Chen shares mini food vlogs on his YouTube channel “Strictly Dumpling.”
Chen exits the New Tang Dynasty Television and launches a brand new YouTube channel with creative partner Dan Chen.
Chen’s primary YouTube channel crosses three million followers.
Why We Love Mike Chen
He is the original food blogger
Mike Chen belongs to the legions of early-day YouTubers who built the framework for food vlogging as we know it. Thousands have taken Chen’s lead and launched their careers in the field. He’s built an admirable career through sheer passion and charm, and the world is better because of it.
He is an inspirational digital entrepreneur
Chen has been a digital creator for more than a decade. His videos have garnered billions of views across 11 YouTube channels. He funds his creative projects through brand endorsements and advertising money from his YouTube channels.
He is fearless
Chen has taken many risks in his career, starting with quitting his cushy wall-street job in 2006 to work for a nonprofit organization. His criticism of the Communist Party of China has earned him the ire of Chinese nationalists. Chen’s fearlessness is one of the prime reasons behind his phenomenal success.
5 Surprising Facts
He is a Texan at heart
Although his travels have taken him to every corner of the country, Chen's heart belongs to Texas.
He loves barbeques
Chen judges the food scene of a city through the lens of a delicious barbeque.
He is a practitioner of Falun Gong
Chen rediscovered his life’s purpose after becoming a follower of the Falun Gong practice.
YouTube wasn’t exactly the plan
Chen majored in accounting at Truman State University, but life clearly had other plans for him.
He wants to ditch his nomad life
After decades of shuffling through cities, Chen wishes to settle down and open up a restaurant in Texas.
Mike Chen FAQs
Is Mike Chen the “Strictly Dumpling” guy?
Chen launched the popular YouTube channel “Strictly Dumpling” in 2013, through which he shares his love for Chinese cuisine.
How many YouTube channels does Mike Chen run?
Chen exerts creative control over 11 YouTube channels and is the primary content producer for three of them.
Who is Mikey Chen?
Mikey Chen is his alter ego. Chen often uses the name Mikey to share his personal vlogs.
Mike Chen’s birthday dates