About EasyMandarin Chinese School

How we started & the secret of our success

We still remember the very first lesson given by EasyMandarin in the summer of 2006. It was for a small group of beginners who had gathered in the tiny lounge of School co-founder Yis Weintraub’s Shanghai apartment.

At that time, our plan was simple – create the kind of Chinese language school we would like to attend and it would be so great that others would be certain to join us. How hard could it be?

Our first students included a German engineer, a graduate from Mauritius and a Brazilian dancer who claimed to be the brother of soccer star Ronaldinho (at that time Brazil and Barcelona’s most famous player). This later turned out to be untrue, but it was a great story to tell our friends!

The fun and excitement of those first lessons for both our new school and our earliest students is something we have never forgotten and still drives the way we run EasyMandarin today.

Since 2006, we have grown to a campus of fourteen modern classrooms in a totally fantastic location (we overlook Jing An Temple from the fifteenth floor and, on certain festival days, we can wave ‘hello’ to the monks in the bell tower) and have become one of Shanghai’s largest and most successful Chinese language schools.

We didn’t know in 2006 that EasyMandarin would grow so fast. But sharing the pleasure and rewards of learning Chinese with the thousands of students we have gotten to know over the past few years has been amazing and is something we never tire of.

Inside and outside of the classroom, we love all of our students (even if they send us text messages at 3am asking for help!) and believe in going to great lengths to make sure they are happy.

The reason for our success is simple – we care about giving students the best possible experience of life and learning Chinese in China.

EasyMandarin Timeline

2006 – April:

Liann is running a company that provides cultural exchange events and office services for foreigners in Shanghai. Yis arrives in Shanghai after quitting his job at MTV in New York City.

2006 – June:

Liann and Yis meet by chance in the building where Yis lives and Liann works. The idea for EasyMandarin starts to become a reality.

2006 – July:

EasyMandarin officially opens with classes held on the first floor of Yis’ Shanghai duplex apartment. Students quickly start signing up.


EM moves to a new location at 1851 Xinzha Road with 3 classrooms on the 7th floor; Established partnership with the Swedish student aid organization, CSN


EM expands to 8 classrooms by adding 5 more classrooms on the 8th floor in the same building.


EM surpasses 1,000 student enrollments.


School moves to new location overlooking Jing’an Temple – expands to 14 modern classrooms.


Established partnerships with American Chamber of Commerce, German Chamber of Commerce, Danish Chamber of Commerce


Established partnerships with B-Chinese School in Japan and Chinese School Nederland in the Netherlands; Partners with Dragon Adventures.


EM surpasses 2,500 student enrollments. Partners with Swiss Chamber of Commerce


EM develops Chinese on demand resource for WeChat – over one thousand followers by year end. Established partnership with non-profit community website, ShanghaiMamas. Featured on Japanese Global News Channel, NHK World.

2016 – 2017:

EM selected for “Best Chinese Classes in Shanghai” by Time Out Magazine. WeChat followers grew to over two thousand. Renovated and opened four new classrooms at our Jing’an Temple location.