Opportunities to understand China, Chinese culture and Chinatown

What we do

China Exchange is a small, independent UK registered charity that exists to create opportunities for people in the UK to learn more about China, Chinese culture, London’s Chinatown and the often complex relationships between all three. Our work aims to bring people of any background together to learn more. We are supported by an incredible community of volunteers who are involved in different ways to co-create our work. 

By programming festivals, curating exhibitions, leading volunteer projects and holding events, we create inclusive and unexpected ways to achieve our aims.

Since 2015:

  • We developed the Chinatown Stories community led walking tour programme and won the 2022 Ecclesiastical Heritage Alliance Storyteller of the Year Heritage Heroes award
  • We launched the first UK celebration of writers and writing from and about China – China in Context and ran this in three cities during 2023
  • We created the first archive of London Chinatown’s heritage in the City of Westminster Archives documenting the never-before-detailed history of how an area of Soho became the iconic focal point for ideas about Chineseness in the UK
  • We brought Chinese public square dancing to the UK for the first time with our How Do You Guangchang Wu? project in partnership with Southbank Centre and Goldsmith’s Confucius Institute of Performing Arts getting 180 people dancing as a result.
  • In 2018, China Exchange became the first place in the UK to install a plaque to commemorate the contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps, 140,000 men recruited by Britain and France to serve in the First World War. Their role is yet to be formally recognised.

 

We were established in 2015 by Sir David Tang, who served as the organisation’s chair until his death in 2017. Our building is part of the former BT telephone exchange and was renovated through a project led by Sir David and informed by his close work with HM The King, who was HRH The Prince of Wales at the time.  

China Exchange has a small part time core staff team and is governed by a board of Trustees. Along with our core team, China Exchange has a casual team of staff who work with us to deliver activities and events, and to staff our building when it is in use or open to the public. We maintain a network of skilled freelancers and specialists who work with us on specific projects.  Periodically, we are joined by project staff and freelance support with specialist skills and knowledge to support our work. You can contact any member of the team using this email address: info@chinaexchange.uk. All vacancies for roles in the team, internships, and volunteers are advertised on our website and announced through our newsletter. You can sign up for our newsletter here.

Our team is highly skilled in engaging the public. We use our creative and production skills along with our extensive network of partners and collaborators to generate projects, events and activities with impact. We underpin our work with high quality research, which we use to inform our decisions and approach. Our team members are experienced in giving both academic and public lectures that detail our work. We are also used to adapting specialised or academic content into material that is engaging and meaningful to a general public audience.

Our skills are in demand from other organisations who want to connect with Chinese-related content and audiences. We have been commissioned by others to produce events and activities and to work in an advisory capacity. Most often we are brought in when UK organisations need help moving away from stereotypes. This work builds understanding and capacity to create Chinese-related activities that suit UK audiences. 

Latest News

Paid Internship Available

China Exchange is seeking a paid intern to join the team to support the 40 Stories, 40 Years project, funded by Historic England. What will this involve? Interns will be...

New project to reveal the everyday heritage stories of Chinatown’s workforce

The latest China Exchange project,  40 Years, 40 Stories: The Everyday Heritage of People Working in London’s Chinatown (1985-2025), begins in May 2024. This programme will record and celebrate the...

Would you like to join our casual team?

Would you like to join our casual team? We are recruiting. To support our work and operations, we need confident and calm event stewards to join our casual team on a flexible basis....

China Exchange volunteers receive Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Hero Storyteller Award

China Exchange volunteers receive Ecclesiastical’s Heritage Hero Storyteller Award Volunteers who have helped to reveal Chinatown’s history in London have been recognised for their exceptional service to the UK’s heritage...

New project exhibition creating conversations

New project exhibition creating conversations Yours, Mine, Ours: creating conversations in London’s Chinatown is a new  exhibition, featuring artwork designed by Wendy Wong based on material created through community workshops....