Muyi Xiao is a producer for The New York Times Visual Investigations team. She is a Non-Resident Fellow at ChinaFile and was previously the ChinaFile Visuals Editor.

In the summer of 2015, Xiao was chosen as one of seven Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights Fellows. As a fellow, she studied at an intensive five-week program at New York University. Right after the fellowship, she was admitted to the International Center for Photography’s (ICP) New Media Narrative program in New York City from which she graduated in summer 2016.

Before coming to New York, Xiao was based in Beijing and worked as a photojouranlist at Tencent, the largest online media outlet in China. Her career started in 2012 with a one-year internship at the Reuters Beijing desk as an editor before becoming a photojournalist. She covered a wide range of stories throughout China during her time as a photojournalist, including the missing flight MH370, a cult religion called “Mighty God,” child marriages, and more. These dispatch assignments exposed her to a broad range of issues in her home country, inspiring her to pursue long-term stories as a documentary photographer. After she studied with ICP, she went back to China and continued her work as a freelance photographer for half a year until she started to work at ChinaFile in 2017 in New York City.

Last Updated: December 27, 2021



‘Our Daily Media Consumption Is Completely Different’

Muyi Xiao, Yan Cong & more
In the 18 years I lived at home, we never had a single conversation about current affairs or politics. I had a very minimal understanding of my country and was in no place to initiate discussion, and my parents were never enthusiastic enough to...



Human Resources Both Drive and Limit China’s Push for Automation

Muyi Xiao from New America
For China’s government planners, one of the most important roles for artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is addressing looming challenges in the labor market. After nearly four decades of the one-child policy, China’s aging population is...



‘I Can’t Sleep: Homage to a Uyghur Homeland’

Lisa Ross & Muyi Xiao
In the 2000s, New York-based artist Lisa Ross traveled to the city of Turpan in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and photographed local people on the beds that they keep in their fields. The portraits in that series are currently on exhibit...



Ou Chen’s Good Run

Guo Rongfei & Muyi Xiao from Arrow Factory Video
The number of Chinese racers has risen dramatically—a phenomenon that Chinese media call a “marathon fever.” Obed Tiony, a Kenyan studying at Shanghai University, works as an agent for some 300 runners from Kenya and its neighbor Ethiopia. Tiony’s...



Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Yidi Wu, Ding Feng & more
It’s graduation time, and Chinese graduates from American colleges are now pondering what to do next: return to China or stay in the U.S. We reached out to recent graduates to ask about their decision-making process and how they view their prospects...