Zha Jianying is a writer, journalist, and cultural commentator in both English and Chinese. She is the author of two books in English, Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China (named “One of the best books of 2011” by The Economist), and China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture, and five books of non-fiction and fiction in Chinese. Her work has appeared widely in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Dushu, and Wanxiang. Tide Players was selected by The Economist as “One of the Best Books of 2011.” China Pop was selected by The Village Voice as “One of the 25 Best Books of 1995.” Her Chinese book in 2006, Bashiniandai (The Eighties), was selected as the “Best Book of the Year” by numerous mainland Chinese publications A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she also has been a regular commentator on current events on Chinese television, and works as the China Representative of the India China Institute at The New School in New York. Born and raised in Beijing, educated in China and the U.S., she lives in Beijing and New York.

Last Updated: August 21, 2017

Media

01.29.16

‘The New Yorker’ on China

Jiayang Fan, Peter Hessler & more
Following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society New York on December 17, 2015, “ChinaFile Presents: The New Yorker On China.” (The full video appears above.) The evening, introduced by Asia Society President Josette Sheeran...

Conversation

05.21.15

Censorship and Publishing in China

Andrew J. Nathan, Zha Jianying & more
This week, a new PEN American Center report “Censorship and Conscience: Foreign Authors and the Challenge of Chinese Censorship,” by Alexa Olesen, draws fresh attention to a perennial problem for researchers, scholars, and creative writers trying to...

Sinica Podcast

12.06.11

The Soul of Beijing

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Today, we’re pleased to share a special live edition of Sinica recorded last Saturday at Capital M in Beijing. Held to a standing-room only crowd, we talked all about our ongoing love-hate relationship with Beijing, and asked what on earth is...

Books

04.15.11

Tide Players

Jianying Zha
In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest growing economy. Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s favorite “barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as “a counter-revolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at China’s top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zha’s own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party. Deeply engaging, lucid, and poignant, Zha’s insightful “insider-outsider” portraits offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before. —The New Press{chop}