Lingling Wei is a senior China correspondent at the Wall Street Journal. That’s a job she has wanted since she first went into journalism in the 1990s, an era of greater openness of China to the world. She learned about Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from visiting Fulbright scholars at her university, Shanghai’s Fudan University.
A brand-new Center for American Studies at Fudan at the time allowed her access to the Journal, the New York Times, and other American publications. Her subsequent work at a government-owned newspaper strengthened her desire to write stories reflecting real news and the interests of the people.
After she earned a master’s degree in journalism from New York University in 2000, Wei started work at Dow Jones Newswires. Her coverage there of the U.S. housing crisis won her a Society of American Business Editors and Writers award in 2007. Wei joined the Journal in New York in 2008 to cover real estate.
In 2011, Wei, a newly minted U.S. citizen then, got her dream job: she became a China correspondent for the Journal. That’s also when she started to work with Bob Davis, who has helped her become a more ambitious journalist along the way. Her work includes China’s massive debt problems, tightened state control over the economy, and, most recently, the U.S.-China trade war. Nearly a decade later, as tensions mounted between the U.S. and China, Wei was expelled from China along with other American journalists. In May 2020, she moved back to New York and continues to write about China.
Wei is featured in the Journal’s “Face of Real News” campaign Society of Publishers in Asia for its 2017 Journalist of the Year award and was cited by the Overseas Press Club in 2016 for best international business reporting. She and Davis were part of a Wall Street Journal team that won a New York Press Club award in 2019 for coverage of “Trump’s Trade Turmoil.”