In conversation with TED’s head of curation Helen Walters, writer and publisher Huang Hung sheds light on how Chinese and American cultural values shaped their responses to the outbreak — and provides perspective on why everyone needs to come together to end the pandemic.
Huang Hung talks about how the reaction and adherence to the enforced city-wide shutdowns, stay-at-home orders and mask mandates has been markedly different in the East and West.
Watch the video of her interview below:
Huang Hung is Chinese-born American living and working in Beijing as a writer, feminist and internet influencer.
Huang was born in Beijing, she went to New York for high school when she was 12 on a Chinese government program for training the next generation of diplomats for China. She returned to China and worked in Radio for three years. She then left China again on a scholarship from Vassar College. She graduated from Vassar in 1984 with a B.A. in Political Science.
Upon graduation, Huang worked for various American companies who were developing a growing interest in China including AIG and its subsidiary Kamsky Associates, a consulting firm which focused on China business. She later joined Metallgesellschaft (MG), a German metals trading company. During this time, Huang not only worked as MG’s Chief Representative in China but also in its New York office as the head of MG’s countertrade division.
In 1994, Huang joined a group of Chinese professionals to for Standard International Asset Management Company. Standard International managed funds and consulted foreign companies from different industries on investment strategies in China in the 1990s, Huang has worked on different projects ranging from automotive industry to food and finance.
In 2000, Huang became the Publisher and shareholder of an independent magazine iLOOK. iLOOK was a flagship magazine in local fashion and culture for 15 years. In 2010, Huang also created BRAND NEW CHINA, the first concept store in China which sold products by Chinese designers.
During the same time, Huang was actively working as a writer, not for her own magazine but for popular weekly magazines such as Sanlian Life Magazine 《三联生活周刊》and Southern Weekend 《南方周末》。 She started writing a blog around the same time and became one of the top 3 bloggers on sina.com in views. She also hosted two evening talk shows on Chinese television.
Huang’s internet writing went from blog to weibo, where she remains one of the most influential women on Chinese social media with 14.7 million followers. In 2011, Time Magazine named her as one of 100 most influential people in the world. In addition to Weibo, Huang is very active on Chinese social medial platforms including tic tok, Himalaya and Toutiao. Due to her experience in fashion and her interest in empowering women in China, she is often invited to speak at forums such as APEC women, UN women as well as corporate forums for companies such as L’Oreal and Christian Dior.
Huang has published three collections of her essays. In 2019, she published her first novel. Huang is working now on a documentary series about gentrification of the Chinese village where she lives today. Huang lives with her partner and their daughter in Beijing.
- Modern Lifestyle in China
- Chinese Social Media
- China Today
- Sustainable fashion