Jonathan Landreth served as ChinaFile Managing Editor from its launch in Spring 2013 until Spring 2018. He previously reported from Beijing from 2004 to 2012, with a focus on the media and entertainment industries and their effect on the world’s perception of China. He was the founding Asia Editor of The Hollywood Reporter and his freelance work appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The China Economic Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Forbes, Wallpaper, Marie Claire, The Times of London, and Travel+Leisure. Since 2012, he has had a hand in organizing the annual Asia Society U.S.-China Film Summit in Los Angeles. In 2015, he launched China Film Insider, a website devoted to covering the growing ties between China and Hollywood.

From 2002 to 2004, Landreth was with Reuters in Singapore, where he covered the global oil trade. From 2000 to 2002, he reported for Reuters in New York, covering the health and energy industries, and the attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. Before Reuters, he was a Founding Editor at the New York- and Beijing-based website VirtualChina (1999-2000). Prior to his work as a reporter, Landreth edited non-fiction books at Henry Holt & Company in New York (1993-1998). He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley (’92), and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (’99). He is the proud father of a daughter whose passport is impressively packed for a 13-year-old.

Last Updated: May 10, 2018

Culture

03.23.18

What Chinese High School Students Learn in America

Jonathan Landreth
In 2011, when a rural prep school in Maine invited New York-based director Miao Wang to screen her first film, Beijing Taxi, she was surprised to find so many Chinese students enrolled at the archetypal New England establishment. Not Chinese-...

Media

01.24.18

China’s Animated Underbelly

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
A tousled-haired young man in a third-tier Chinese city is desperate to fix the botched plastic surgery done on his fiancée’s face. At knifepoint, he steals a satchel of one million yuan from a local gangster, setting off a chain-reaction of greed...

Conversation

02.23.17

Can China Expand its Beachhead in Hollywood?

Stanley Rosen, Ying Zhu & more
With The Great Wall, a classic army vs. monsters tale, director Zhang Yimou has brought America the most expensive Chinese film ever created. The movie may be backed by a Hollywood studio and it may star no less an American icon than Matt Damon, and...

Viewpoint

11.09.16

A Chinese Observer of the U.S. Election Reacts to Trump’s Win

Jonathan Landreth
On the heels of Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president on Tuesday, Hua Jianping, a 40-year-old Beijing native and host of the popular Chinese-language “U.S. Election” podcast, spoke to ChinaFile by telephone from his home in College...

Culture

11.04.16

A New Comedy Looks Back at a Bygone Beijing

Jonathan Landreth
The forthcoming Mandarin-language comedy King of Peking takes the viewer back to Beijing in 1998. The sooty rooms, the boxy automobiles of just a few makes, models, and colors, and the alleyways crammed with shops hawking cheap home cooking and...

Culture

06.29.16

Using Free Sex to Expose Sexual Abuse in China

Jonathan Landreth
Nanfu Wang hoped that a woman called Ye Haiyan (“Hooligan Sparrow”), who had offered free sex on the Internet to draw attention to the plight of poor women selling their bodies to support their children, would lead her to the prostitutes she wanted...

Viewpoint

05.24.16

“It’s Time for Us To Set a New Political Agenda for Hong Kong”

Jonathan Landreth, Susan Jakes & more
Last month, midway through a whirlwind tour of United States universities, Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong took a break for a crab cake and mac-and-cheese lunch at a Manhattan brasserie. Wong, 19, came to international prominence during the...

Media

03.29.16

‘River Town’ the Movie

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
Not since Iron and Silk premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991 has a movie based on a memoir about teachers on the front lines of U.S.-China relations come to the big screen. Director Shirley Sun’s mostly-English-language film adaptation of...

Conversation

03.04.16

Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

Jonathan Landreth, Taisu Zhang & more
By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has  had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or...

Media

02.02.16

When Push Comes to Shove—Movies, China, and the World

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
The moviemaking dance the United States is doing with China is picking up pace. The Asian giant’s audience influence is soaring as estimates show that Chinese box office returns could overtake American ticket sales this year or next. Parity in...

Conversation

01.13.16

Does Chinese Investment Pose a Threat to Hollywood?

Jonathan Landreth, Stanley Rosen & more
The Wanda Group, China’s leading real estate developer, on Monday paid $3.5 billion for a controlling stake in Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, maker of Jurassic World, among other global blockbusters. At a time when Hollywood is...

Culture

01.05.16

In ‘Mr. Six,’ China’s Changing and Staying the Same

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
Playing an aging gangster railing against the “little punks” who kidnapped his son in Beijing, Feng Xiaogang gives a solid performance as the title character of Mr. Six: a gravel-throated vigilante shaken when his go-it-alone rescue effort puts him...

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