Jonathan Landreth is a freelance reporter, writer, editor, and media strategist. He 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, in Beijing in 2005, and his subsequent freelance work from China 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. In 2018, he helped the San Francisco Green Film Festival select a series of documentaries about China’s environmental challenges.

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 14-year-old.

Last Updated: November 30, 2018



China and Hollywood by the Numbers

Jonathan Landreth
Consider this: Hollywood studios now make more money selling movie tickets in China than in any other market outside North America. Wanda, China’s largest real estate developer, bought AMC, the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States...



Can China’s Leading Indie Film Director Cross Over in America?

Jonathan Landreth, Michael Berry & more
Jonathan Landreth:Chinese writer and director Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin won the prize for the best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Though the dialogue and its fine translation and English subtitles by Tony Rayns are exemplary, I...



A Shark Called Wanda—Will Hollywood Swallow the Chinese Dream Whole?

Stanley Rosen, Jonathan Landreth & more
Stanley Rosen:Wang Jianlin, who personally doesn’t know much about film, made a splash when he purchased America’s No. 2 movie theater chain AMC at a price many thought far too high for what he was getting.  A number of knowledgeable people...



Five Years On

Jonathan Landreth
On August 8, 2008, I was in Beijing reporting on the media aspects of China’s first Olympic Games, and I am still amazed that the four-hour opening ceremony, as designed by film director Zhang Yimou, was seen by sixty-nine percent of China’s...



Truth in Chinese Cinema?

Jonathan Landreth
In 1997, as James Cameron’s Titanic sank box office records around the world—including in China—Sally Berger, assistant film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, worked to bring New York moviegoers a raft of Chinese movies they’d never heard of.The...



Hollywood in China—What’s the Price of Admission?

Jonathan Landreth, Ying Zhu & more
Last week, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), the Hollywood studio behind the worldwide blockbuster Kung Fu Panda films, announced that it will cooperate with the China Film Group (CFG) on an animated feature called Tibet Code, an adventure story based on...



Why is China Still Messing with the Foreign Press?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
To those raised in the Marxist tradition, nothing in the media happens by accident.  In China, the flagship newspapers are still the “throat and tongue” of the ruling party, and their work is directed by the Party’s Propaganda Department...



Why Is Chinese Soft Power Such a Hard Sell?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Donald Clarke & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:Chairman Mao Zedong said that power comes out of the barrel of a gun, and he knew a thing or two about power, both hard and soft. If you have enough guns, you have respect. Money is the same: if you have enough cash, you can buy guns...



China Concerto

Jonathan Landreth
Before February 2012, when his name exploded onto the front pages of newspapers around the globe, most people outside of China had never heard of Bo Xilai, the now-fallen Communist Party Secretary of the megacity of Chongqing. But in the years...



“Shanghai Calling” Translates Funny

Jonathan Landreth
Director Daniel Hsia and producer Janet Yang were motivated to make Shanghai Calling, their first feature film together, by the shared feeling that no matter how much more important relations between the United States and China grew, they always...



Is America’s Door Really Open to China’s Investment?

Daniel H. Rosen, Orville Schell & more
Daniel Rosen:There have not been many new topics in U.S.-China economic relations over the past decade: the trade balance, offshoring of jobs, Chinese holding of U.S. government debt, whether China’s currency is undervalued and intellectual property...



Lil Buck Goes to China

Jonathan Landreth
In November 2011, The Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, headed by Orville Schell, hosted the inaugural U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.Schell's son, Ole, a filmmaker, tagged along with his video camera and captured the...