Mei Zhang

Founder and Chairlady

Mei is a native of Yunnan province in southwest China. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and worked for McKinsey & Company until she found her true passion in sustainable travel. Mei is an Aspen Institute China Fellow and currently serves as a member of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Board. While serving as a consultant to The Nature Conservancy, Mei witnessed the push and pull between economic development and conservation of both nature and culture in Yunnan. She strongly believed that there was a for-profit solution to this – providing a sophisticated interpretation of Chinese culture and nature through experiential travel.

This revolutionary concept led to the creation of WildChina in 2000.

Together with WildChina CEO Albert Ng, Mei has transformed the company into an award-winning business: National Geographic Adventure’s ‘Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth’. Mei’s expertise has also led her to win a number of personal awards and accolades, including Travel and Leisure’s A-List of Top Travel Advisors, Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist, and Wendy Perrin’s #WOW List of Travel Experts.

The WildChina story has been covered by Harvard Business Review, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TIME, and more. WildChina set the golden standard in luxury adventure travel in China, and its rigorous operation process is documented in multiple Harvard Business School case studies and is studied by Harvard MBAs, as well as University of California HAAS Business School and Columbia School of Business students. 

Realizing that WildChina alone cannot change the industry, Mei is a frequent speaker on sustainable tourism and entrepreneurship in China. She served as a judge for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and has been on the advisory boards of Adventure Travel Trade Association, The International Ecotourism Society and, was a founding board member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) primarily funded by the UN Foundation.

Led by Mei, WildChina has also established many partnerships with grassroots conversation projects, villages, nature reserves, and NGOs across China.

In 2012, after spending four years in Washington DC, establishing WildChina’s US presence, Mei took another leap of faith, returning to China to build another venture, Beshan, bringing sophisticated travel to a chic Chinese clientele.

In 2016, Penguin published Mei’s first book, Travels through Dali: with a leg of ham. The book is a beautifully illustrated chronicle of her return to her roots in search of the region’s unique traditions, culture and cuisine.

Connect with Mei via Instagram: @wildchinamei

Upcoming virtual events with WildChina

October 2021
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Past virtual events with WildChina

September 2021
August 2021

On The Ground:
Contemporary Art in Shanghai (Event #85)
WildChina on the groundThis event has passed

Join us as we meet WildChina guide, Flo Ma, at one of Shanghai‘s newest art museums, UCCA Edge. After getting oriented on where we are in the city, we’ll then head inside with an exclusive tour of the exhibition Liu Xiaodong: Your Friends led by UCCA curator Yan Fang. ...
20 Aug
9:00 am - 10:00 am
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Date: 2021 Aug 20
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
July 2021

WildChina On-Air: Snow Leopard Conservation in China (Event #81)In Conversation With...WildChina On-AirThis event has passed

Join us in conversation with leading snow leopard conservation experts to hear about the ongoing efforts in China to save these endangered cats. ...
16 Jul
9:00 am - 10:00 am
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Date: 2021 Jul 16
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
June 2021
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Media Appearances

CGTN - China Global Television Network

Mei regularly writes a column for Caixin Media, a Chinese media group known for its independent, investigative journalism. Read her latest articles on China travel for Caixin through the links below.