Michael D. Manning lived in China from 2005 to 2009, splitting his time between Xinjiang and Beijing. He first gained notoriety amongst expats for his blog, The Opposite End of China, which provided a fresh glimpse of daily life on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert from his home base in Korla. After a gig teaching English to the children of railroad workers, Manning wrote travel guides on Northwest China and Tibet for Fodor's, opened a small sun-dried tomato factory in collaboration with the Bingtuan, and finally landed a gig working as a foreign expert for CCTV International. Manning also maintained a side business illegally selling hashish in Beijing, utilizing his extensive Uyghur contacts back in Xinjiang. Michael was arrested at his apartment near the Worker's Stadium on March 15, 2009, after receiving a large shipment of hashish in the mail. He was incarcerated at Beijing #1 Detention Center for seven months, before being deported back to the United States. Manning currently lives in Oakland, California, and is the founder of Dropping Science, which creates innovative products for the legal cannabis industry.    

Last Updated: October 17, 2016

Sinica Podcast


An American’s Seven Months in a Chinese Jail

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In 2009, Michael Manning was working in Beijing for a state-owned news broadcaster by day, but he spent his nights selling bags of hashish. His position with CCTV was easy and brought him into contact with Chinese celebrities, while his other trade...