Passion for investigative reporting won business journalist multiple awards

“I am a rare case in which I twice left journalism and twice came back,” said Jing Yang (MJ 2012), the Asia bureau chief of The Information, a technology and business online news media.

“Each time when I made the decision to leave, I didn’t plan to come back. But in both times, after a few months into the new field, I felt the urge to come back to reporting, like a calling you couldn’t ignore.” 

The award-winning journalist started at the shipping and maritime publication Lloyd’s List, after graduating from the JMSC. Her investigative report on Chinese marine transport company Nanjing Tanker’s hidden loans won an honourable mention in business reporting from the Society of Asia Publishers (SOPA). 

Jing moved to the South Chinese Morning Post in 2014 to report on a wide range of business news. In January 2016, she joined risk-management firm Stroz Friedberg, leading due diligence and investigative projects for multinational clients. 

Six months later, she left Hong Kong to work as a reporter for Bloomberg financial news service in Shanghai. 

Jing left journalism again in January 2019, when Chinese fintech giant Ant Financial, the Hangzhou-based operator of Alipay, hired her to lead their international communication strategies. 

Jing at the Overseas Press Club of America awards ceremony in New York in April 2022

Her second corporate stint lasted for eight months. In September that year, she moved back to Hong Kong to work for the Wall Street Journal — first as a finance reporter, covering the Asia region, and later as a senior correspondent.

At the Journal, she led a broad coverage of China’s business, from Wall Street firms’ expansion in the country to the fortunes of major Chinese tech firms. In 2020, she dug into the accounting chicanery of Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee and exposed details of the fraud — months before the probe results from Beijing and US authorities. 

The following two years, she took a leading role in a series of investigations on China’s regulatory clampdown on tech companies, including Ant Group, the successor of Ant Financial.

The reports won two SOPA awards in 2022, as well as other recognitions from press organisations in the United States. 

Jing reporting from inside the bubble of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022

“There was the itch to learn about the world and how it actually operated,” said Jing, who joined The Information in August 2023, reflecting on her career moves. 

“As a reporter covering business and finance, oftentimes it can feel like we are always an outsider looking in, and over time naturally you’d develop the curiosity and desire to want to be part of what you cover, instead of just looking from the sidelines,” she added.

“That said, what I learnt from my two stints outside of journalism is that: first, if you are a good reporter, you can do well in other fields too; second, I returned as a much better reporter because I’ve gained first-hand knowledge of how things work.”

Jing always knew she wanted to pursue business reporting when she was studying at the JMSC and was grateful that “the MJ program prepared me as a real-world business and financial reporter.” 

“I still remember the initial days into my first job after graduation, I didn’t feel what I had to do in the newsroom was that different from the class assignments I was given during the program,” she said.

As the Asia bureau chief, Jing still does reporting, but is also busy managing a team of reporters in Asia. “As I step into a managerial role, I feel equally proud when the reporters in my bureau broke major stories,” she said.

“Being able to pass on my experiences and offer advice to younger reporters to help them grow is just as important as my personal growth, which is also, in my view, the best way to repay those who helped me when I was a junior reporter.”

Jing, pictured with the JMSC’s founding director Prof Ying Chan, giving a lunchtime career talk at Eliot Hall in November 2023