Shawn Shieh is the Founder and Director of Social Innovations Advisory, Ltd., a consultancy helping NGOs and social enterprises to carry out innovative, impactful programming in China and the Asia-Pacific. He has served as a consultant for organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Council on Foundations, International Federation of Human Rights, and the Fair Labor Association. He has written and published extensively on China’s political economy, corruption, and civil society, and maintains the blog NGOs in China.

Shieh received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1996, and was a Professor of Political Science at Marist College from 1995 to 2009. From 2007 to 2014, he lived in Beijing, where he founded and directed the English-language operations for China Development Brief (CDB), China’s only bilingual, independent media platform covering China’s civil society and philanthropy sector. Shieh was most recently the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong-based labor rights organization China Labour Bulletin (CLB), from 2014 to 2018.

Last Updated: November 19, 2018



Remaking China’s Civil Society in the Xi Jinping Era

Shawn Shieh
Given his past animosity towards civil society, Xi’s actions have been seen by some as moving China towards a new form of totalitarianism and a closing of the space for civil society. I would argue instead that we should see Xi’s ascendancy,...



What’s the Takeaway from the 19th Party Congress?

Jessica Batke, Peter Mattis & more
The day after the Party Congress ended on October 24, Xi Jinping strode across the stage of the massive Great Hall of the People with the six newly announced members of the 19th Politburo Standing Committee, the body that rules China. What might...

Progress in Implementing the Foreign NGO Law

Shawn Shieh
After a slow start, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and its provincial Public Security Bureaus (PSBs) seem to be finding their stride in implementing the Foreign NGO Law with the rate of registering representative offices and filing “temporary...

More Foreign NGOs Register in Yunnan, Sichuan, Shanghai, and Guangdong

Shawn Shieh
The Beijing-based China Development Brief's (CDB’s) English-language website came out last month with more news about the implementation of the Foreign NGO Law in Yunnan, Shanghai, Sichuan, and Guangdong, where a large number of foreign NGOs...



The Origins of China’s New Law on Foreign NGOs

Shawn Shieh
For many years, the vast majority of foreign NGOs operated quietly in China in a legal grey area. Many are unregistered and work in China through local partners, while others are registered as commercial enterprises. That all changed with the...



How Should Trump Deal with China, and How Should China Deal with Trump?

James Holmes, David Dollar & more
Donald J. Trump, president-elect of the United States, spent much of his antagonistic campaign blaming China for many of America’s economic ills, and repeatedly making thinly veiled threats of a U.S. trade war with Beijing. How should Trump engage...