Skip to main content

Duncan Hewitt

Affiliate Lecturer


Duncan Hewitt is an affiliate of the Lau China Institute. He is a former BBC China correspondent (1997-2002) and Newsweek Shanghai correspondent (2005-2018), who has also written on China for the Guardian, the Economist, Index on Censorship and other media, focusing on social issues, media/internet, urbanization and culture. His book on social change, Getting Rich First – Life in a changing China (Vintage, 2008), was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.

From 2007 – 2014 he lectured on journalism and Chinese media at New York University in Shanghai; in 2011 he was a Thomson Reuters Fellow at the Reuters Institute, Oxford University, where he researched the relationship between China and the international media.

He studied Chinese at Edinburgh University and Southeast Asian Studies at SOAS, and previously worked at the Research Centre for Translation, Chinese University of Hong Kong; his published translations include short stories by Nobel laureate Mo Yan, and He Jiahong’s crime novel Hanging Devils (Penguin, 2012).

A former president of the Shanghai Foreign Correspondents’ Club, he has also researched and written on Shanghai history, and spoken widely at conferences on China. In 2016, he was shortlisted for a Mirror award in the US for his reporting on the challenges facing Chinese journalists.