Entertainment
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The Best Chinese Dramas and Soap Operas

Updated September 5, 2021 25.2k votes 1.6k voters 20.9k views49 items

List RulesVote up the best dramas from China

Heightened drama keeps viewers coming back for more in the best Chinese dramas and soap operas. The top Chinese dramatic TV shows tell ongoing stories about characters who would do anything for each other - and others who would betray their own families to get ahead. This is a list of the best Chinese soap operas and dramas, including everything from Lost in 1949 to Rui's Royal Love in the Palace.

What series will you find on this list of Chinese dramas and soap operas? Both Nirvana in Fire and Nirvana in Fire 2 dominate lists of the most popular Chinese dramas. Based on a novel of the same name, they're just two of the drama shows that bring favorite stories from page to screen. Other good Chinese dramas based on books are Guardian, Medical Examiner Dr. Qin and Secrets of Three Kingdoms.

Do you have a favorite Chinese drama? Vote up the best and add any we may have missed.

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  • 26
    19
    405

    Premiered2017

    The story of the ill-fated romance between Zhu Yi Huan, the last princess of the Ming Dynasty and Kangxi, the young emperor of the Qing Dynasty.

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  • 27
    Jerry Yan, Hai Lu
    18
    402

    Premiered2016

    Jiang Ke Xi's world changes, but she didn't give up. When true love comes, how should she face him?

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  • 28
    Chen Kun, Wan Qian
    20
    432

    Premiered2018

    On New Year’s Day in 1949, female accountant Huang Li Wen returns to her hometown Shanghai in order to commemorate her husband and comrade’s death. As a Communist agent, she is ordered to obtain valuable information for the Communist Party and aid them in their quest for liberation. During her mission, Li Wen is reunited with her family members and becomes acquainted with the streetwise Qiao Zhi Cai and his younger twin brother Qiao Li Jie, who turns out to be a key player in Huang Li Wen’s mission.

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  • 29
    Hang Dong, Jiang Kai Tong
    20
    432

    Qing Ling grew up in an orphanage. She is a kind, cheerful and helpful girl with a perfect sense of smell that she uses to develop perfume. Qing Ling's dream is to create a perfume to pay back the orphanage and help society.

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  • 30
    Huang Xiao Ming, Liu Hao Ran
    26
    554

    Premiered2017

    Shadowy plots battle once again with righteous conduct in this sequel, as familial ties, moral values, ambition, and coming of age themes take the protagonists through a tumultuous road to finding oneself.

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  • 31
    Wallace Huo, Cecilia Liu
    20
    462

    Premiered2016

    The titular character in the drama series, Tan Yunxian, is a real-life historical figure who came from a renowned medical family. Set in the Ming Dynasty under the rule of Emperor Zhu Qi Zhen, Tan Yun Xian comes from a long line of medicine practitioners, her family having served as court physicians for several generations.

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  • 32
    Zhu Ya Wen, Michelle Chen
    18
    419

    Premiered2016

    The relationship between a new hire and her temperamental boss is a source of many misunderstandings and an eventual romance.

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  • 33
    23
    522

    Premiered2018

    Based on the novel San Guo Ji Mi by Ma Boyong, the story revolves around the secrets during the Three Kingdoms era, focusing on the intense rivalry between the Imperial Han and Cao Cao.

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  • 34
    Cheng Bin Li, Wang Zhen
    15
    404

    Premiered2018

    Luo Hai Yan is a university student from a small town who strives to carve out a career for herself in Shanghai. When Zhang Tian Hao, Chen Xiao Wei, and Yan Bing come into the picture, they make an impact in her life.

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  • 35
    An Yue Xi, Chen Ruo Xuan
    19
    515

    Premiered2017

    The young gifted painter Gu Ye Bai is affected by a mental disease, to him, the world has lost all its colors. While preparing for an international arts competition, he gets to know the amiable Lu You Yan. She will help him heal his mind and fight for his dream of becoming a recognized painter.

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  • 36
    Allen Ren, Adi Kan
    12
    415

    Premiered2017

    This drama follows Empress Wu Zetian, Emperor Gaozongand Di Renjie on his various exploits covering cases from the Buddhist Monastery to the events leading to the deposing of Empress Wang to plots to usurp the throne.

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  • 37
    Ruoyun Zhang, Junyan Jiao
    15
    487

    Premiered2016

    Medical Examiner Dr. Qin is a 2016 Chinese web series adapted from the novel The Eleventh Finger by Qin Ming. It follows an investigative team consisting of medical examiner Qin Ming, his assistant Li Dabao and police officer Lin Tao as they solve mysterious criminal cases.

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  • 38
    Park Hae Jin, Li Fei Er
    14
    465

    Premiered2016

    Meng Chu Xia is a kind-hearted and optimistic single 28-year-old ‘shengnu’ (‘leftover woman’) who takes care of the son of her long lost sister. Shen An is a businessman who has returned to China from overseas to start a new company. When Shen An and Chu Xia meet, they are both not expecting to find love.

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  • 39
    Tiffany Tang, Rain
    14
    476

    Premiered2015

    A young woman suffers difficulty in her work and love life due to her unattractive appearance, until she meets the right guy.

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  • 40
    Jia Quing, Zhang Xiao Long
    10
    389

    Premiered2016

    When Tong Si Jie becomes an orphan at an early age, she struggles and has to work different jobs to take care of her siblings. Then she meets the rich Yi Yi - a love that seems to be written in the stars. Just when Si Jie and Yi Yi decide they want to stay together forever, Yi Yi’s dominant mother interferes in their relationship, spreading lies that drift the two lovers apart.

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  • 41
    Zhang Edward, Tong Li Ya
    10
    391

    Premiered2018

    Based on the life of Yue Fei, a Song dynasty general widely regarded as a patriot and national hero in Chinese culture for his role in the Jurchen campaigns against the Song dynasty.

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  • 42
    Vanness Wu, Baak Ji Jeung
    10
    406

    Premiered2018

    Wan Shi Cheng is a self-made man who started out as a street vendor. After 40 years of hard work, he has succeeded in establishing the biggest restaurant in the city. However, his family is on the brink of collapse.

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  • 43
    Lin Yong Jian, Rulu Jiang
    8
    381

    Premiered2017

    Former reporter Zhan Da Peng, whose special field were crisis regions, now is a distinguished producer. But when he and his wife, who works at the same company, separate he loses both his family and job.

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  • 44
    Hu Ge, Chen Long
    8
    390

    Premiered2017

    Zheng Qiu Dong is a persistent man when pursuing his ideals. He survives through business failures, economic pitfalls purposely set up by adversaries and unfortunate romances without losing his moral principles to become an elite of the financial world, described metaphorically as the "hunting ground".

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  • 45
    Wang Luo Dan, Zhang Jia Yi
    6
    390

    Premiered2017

    Head doctor of the emergency department He Jian Yi and the recently returned from America new Ph.D. advisor, Jiang Xiao Qi are each wary of the other at first, but come to understand each other and rescue not only patients side by side but also themselves.

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  • 46
    Kevi Cheng, Lin Yuan
    5
    381

    Premiered2015

    The princess of a fallen kingdom who died to show her loyalty is resurrected by the power of the Aqua Tear Pearl. She utilizes the power from the Pearl to weave a fulfilling dream for those who are willing to pay the price of death, using chords to guide the illusions.

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  • 47
    Zheng Shuang, Kevin Yan
    3
    382

    Premiered2016

    Zhao Zhan, an expert swordsman, saves the life of Justice Bao Zhen during the Northern Song Dynasty and is rewarded for his brave deed. But Ji Pang, an evil minister who is hungry for power, uses Zhan’s name to provoke a group of legendary swordsmen known as the Five Mice of Xian Kong Island.

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  • 48
    Guo Jing Fei, Che Xiao
    3
    381

    Premiered2017

    Lin Shen has established a construction company in Shanghai, but ends up returning to his hometown of Yu She. At the same time, Shen Ling, a beautiful woman who felt burned out from working day and night in her investments job has gone to the same village for a vacation and she finds herself drawn to the peace and quiet away from the city.

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  • 49
    Hans Zhang, Jia Qing
    3
    381

    Premiered2017

    Based on the life of Sir Run Run Shaw, showcasing the tycoon's legendary life using the most beautiful cinematography, to fashionably depict the story of a man and his enduring love with three women in his life.

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List Rules: Vote up the best dramas from China