Duncan Hewitt is a British journalist and writer who has lived in Shanghai since 2000. A former BBC China correspondent, he has more recently written for Newsweek and its associated websites, focusing on society, media and culture. His book Getting Rich First – Life in a Changing China, (Vintage, 2008) looks at the impact of post-1980s’ social and economic change on the people of China, and particularly Shanghai, covering topics including urbanization and the loss of heritage, education and youth culture.

He first lived in China as a student from 1986-7, when a brief spell as an extra in the film version of J.G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun stirred his interest in Shanghai history. He has written on Ballard’s links to the city, and also contributed a chapter to Tess Johnson’s walking guide Still More Shanghai Walks. A former journalist fellow at the Reuters Institute, Oxford University, he has also lectured on Chinese media at New York University, Shanghai, and published translations of contemporary Chinese literature, including short stories by Mo Yan, and He Jiahong’s novel Hanging Devils (Penguin, 2012).


  • Shanghai Mega City on the Move and the pursuit of “the Chinese Dream”
  • Economy and Finance
  • Chinese Society


  • English
  • Chinese