Frank Langfitt
Steve Barrett/N/A

Frank Langfitt

International Correspondent, Shanghai

Frank Langfitt is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai. He covers China, Japan, and the Koreas for NPR News. His reports have included visits to China's infamous black jails –- secret detention centers — as well as his own travails taking China's driver's test, which he failed three times.

Before moving to China, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He reported from Sudan and covered the civil war in Somalia, where learned to run fast in Kevlar and interviewed imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the reform movement in Bahrain.

Prior to Africa, Langfitt was a labor correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covered the 2008 financial crisis, the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler and coal mine disasters in West Virginia.

Shanghai is Langfitt's second posting in China. Before coming to NPR, he spent five years as a correspondent in Beijing for The Baltimore Sun, covering a swath of Asia from East Timor to the Khyber Pass. During the opening days of the Afghan War, Langfitt reported from Pakistan and Kashmir.

In 2008, Langfitt covered the Beijing Olympics as a member of NPR's team, which won an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. Langfitt's print and visual journalism have also been honored by the Overseas Press Association and the White House News Photographers Association.

Langfitt spent his early years in journalism stringing for the Philadelphia Inquirer and living in Hazard, Kentucky, where he covered the state's Appalachian coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Before becoming a reporter, Langfitt drove a taxi in Philadelphia and dug latrines in Mexico. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

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The Dzungar army surrenders to Manchu officers of the Qing Dynasty in 1759 in the Ili Valley, now part of China's Xinjiang region, in this painting made several years later by Chinese and Jesuit missionary artists. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

itoggle caption Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall. Chinese censors cut a scene from the movie that they thought made China look weak. Because China is such a huge market, some U.S. moviemakers may choose to avoid portraying China in negative terms. Danjaq/Eon Productions/The Kobal Collection hide caption

itoggle caption Danjaq/Eon Productions/The Kobal Collection

The twisting Shanghai Tower (right) is the world's second-tallest building and opens soon. Shen Zhonghai/Gensler hide caption

itoggle caption Shen Zhonghai/Gensler

Joel Xu, 25, drives in Shanghai for People's Uber, a ride-sharing service. He makes about $4,000 a month – a good wage in Shanghai – and loves meeting new people he'd otherwise never encounter. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

The website bestenglishname.com uses the answers to questions about subjects such as music, sports and personal style to generate suitable English names. Via bestenglishname.com hide caption

itoggle caption Via bestenglishname.com

Money is pouring into the stock market, but most new investors only have a middle-school education, says Texas A&M University economist Gan Li. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

Passengers go to the Nanchang railway station in eastern China in February 2014, at the end of the Chinese New Year holiday. In the past, it was often the only time of year that migrant workers were able to return home. Now, economic pressures on factories in coastal China have led to a reversal of a decades-long migration of workers from inland to the coast. Zhou Ke/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Zhou Ke/Xinhua/Landov

Charles and his bride Xiao Fang met through a social media app where they connected by shaking their smartphones at the same time. NPR's Frank Langfitt met Charles in Shanghai and drove him 500 miles to his family's home in central China for the wedding. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR