Mei Fong

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Mei Fong
Mei Fong at the 2016 Hay Festival
Native name 方鳳美
Nationality American
Alma mater National University of Singapore,
Columbia University
Occupation Journalist
Awards Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 方鳳美
Simplified Chinese 方凤美
Hanyu Pinyin Fāng Fèngměi
Yale Romanization Fõng Fuhng-méih
Jyutping Fong1 Fung6-mei5

Mei Fong (born August 8, 1972), also known as Fong Foongmei (方鳳美), is a Malaysian-Chinese-American journalist who was staff reporter for the China bureau for The Wall Street Journal. In April 2007, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting as part of the bureau's "sharply edged reports on the adverse impact of China's booming capitalism on conditions ranging from inequality to pollution."[1] She is "believed to be the first Malaysian ... to achieve this distinction."[2]

Her story on China's migrant construction workers that won the Pulitzer Prize also garnered a 2006 Human Rights Press Award from Amnesty International and the Hong Kong Correspondents Club.[3]

Her book about China's one-child policy, One Child: The Past And Future Of China’s Most Radical Experiment,[4] was published as a Kindle e-book on November 3, 2015[5] and was released as a hard cover book (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN 9780544275393) on February 1, 2016.[6]


Fong at the 2016 Gaithersburg Book Festival

She grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and attended National University of Singapore for undergraduate studies. After working for The New Paper (Singapore), she went on to attend Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and received a Masters of International Affairs degree in 2001.[7]

While working at Forbes Digital in 2000 she created the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list, which is still published every year by the business magazine.[8]

Fong joined The Wall Street Journal full-time in 2001, and in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, served in the unusual capacity of City Hall reporter covering the aftermath and recovery of New York City.[3]

Asia correspondent[edit]

She worked in Hong Kong as a correspondent for the Journal from 2003-2006, and in Beijing from 2006-2009, where she covered economic development, China's consumers and the 2008 Summer Olympics.

During the 2007 proposed sale of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, she was a vocal opponent to the move. According to the Associated Press story on the purchase, she, along with six Journal colleagues, "wrote a letter to the board of Dow Jones & Co. saying they fear that under Murdoch's leadership writers would be pressured to soften their reporting on China."[9]

In 2009, Fong took a sabbatical leave from The Wall Street Journal and officially left the paper in 2013.[10]

US-based work[edit]

In 2009, she joined the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as an adjunct professor of journalism, overseeing the international internship program for journalism students in Hong Kong.

She received a book contract in 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to write about China's one-child policy and its global implications.[11]

In 2014, she joined the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., as the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow.[12]

In 2016, she released the book One Child for free in Simplified Chinese, citing her inability to find a willing Chinese or Hong Kong publisher.[13]

She has been a contributor to the LA Times, Salon, The Atlantic and National Public Radio.


  1. ^ "The 2007 Pulitzer Prize Winner in International Reporting". Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  2. ^ Lim, Guan Eng (2007-05-07). "Are we going to lose another million talented Malaysians?". DAP Malaysia. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Biography - Ms. Mei Fong". Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  4. ^ "BREAKING: Mei Fong on the End of the One Child Policy". Mei Fong. 
  5. ^ "The Unintended Consequences Of China's Birth Policy In 'One-Child'". 29 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "One Child". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
  7. ^ "Malaysian with WSJ bags Pulitzer". The Star (Malaysia). 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  8. ^ "The Top-EarningDead Celebrities - Forbes". Forbes. 
  9. ^ "Dow Jones Urged to Reject Murdoch's Bid -". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  10. ^ "Journalist Mei Fong offers tips for reporting on Asia". Reynolds Center. 
  11. ^ "Are Chinese 'Too Rational' for a Second Child? Interview With Mei Fong". New America. Retrieved 2015-11-27. 
  12. ^ "The Next Class of New America Fellows". New America. Retrieved 2015-11-27. 
  13. ^ "A Pulitzer winner is giving away her book in Chinese because the topic scared off publishers". Quartz. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 

External links[edit]