Frank Langfitt

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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11:51 am
Wed December 24, 2014

China's Fierce Anti-Corruption Crackdown: An Insider's View

China's President Xi Jinping, shown speaking in Bruges, Belgium, back in April, has made fighting corruption one of his top priorities. Many Chinese bureaucrats are angry, saying a loss of bribes has greatly reduced their incomes.
Yves Logghe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 10:45 am

A government job in China used to be a gravy train: easy hours, little scrutiny and — usually — a chance to make good money through perks and corruption. This year, though, the 1.4 million candidates who signed up to take China's civil service exam marked a drop of more than 100,000 from the previous year.

Most people think the reason is the government's fierce anti-corruption drive, which has taken a lot of the profit out of public service. Recently, a low-level Shanghai official vented to NPR about life under China's toughest crackdown in modern memory.

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2:27 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Reporter Offers Free Cab Rides For Stories From 'Streets Of Shanghai'

NPR reporter Frank Langfitt and one of his "customers," a biotech worker, whom he drove to a self-help conference in Shanghai's sprawling Pudong District.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:30 am

Editor's Note: NPR Shanghai correspondent Frank Langfitt once drove a taxi as a summer job. He decided to do it again, this time offering free rides around Shanghai in exchange for stories about one of the world's most dynamic cities. This is the first in an occasional series.

I've been working on an unusual reporting project this fall in Shanghai. I picked up a car and have been driving around the city offering people free rides.

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Asia
3:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Hong Kong Demonstrators Hope End Of Protests Not An End To The Fight

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 5:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
3:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Police Finish Dismantling Hong Kong Protest Sites

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:14 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Asia
4:12 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Divide Occurs Between Hong Kong Democracy Protesters

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 6:57 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
4:18 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Hong Kong Visitors Tour Protest Site Where History Is Being Made

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 5:22 pm

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Asia
3:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Hong Kong Protesters Make Last-Ditch Effort To Negotiate

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 7:19 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Asia
4:06 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Defiant Hong Kong Protesters Try To Blockade Government Headquarters

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 6:24 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
3:18 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

China Has To Kick Smoking Habit Or Health Care Costs Could Be Huge

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 6:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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9:13 am
Sun November 23, 2014

After 2 Months, Hong Kong Residents Want Protesters To Head Home

A census by protesters estimates the main protest camp in Hong Kong is home to about 2,200 tents, but most are empty these days as crowds have dwindled.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:15 pm

Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests, the longest of their kind on Chinese soil since the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, turn 2 months old on Sunday.

In early October, the demonstrations grabbed media attention around the world and galvanized Hong Kongers, but now most of them just want the protests to end. Independent polls show people overwhelmingly oppose the continued occupation of city streets because it's inconvenient and appears to be futile.

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