May 18, 2016


Sophia Yan is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience, and is China Correspondent for CNBC, based in Beijing.

Sophia’s work dives into the real-life, human impact of complex business stories. She specializes in reporting unique cultural and consumer angles that illustrate the growth of the Chinese economy, and examines what the rise of China means for the rest of the world.

Prior to CNBC, Sophia was Asia Business Reporter for CNNMoney, based in Hong Kong, where she covered the 2014 pro-democracy protests that rocked the city, the increasing trend of wealthy Chinese entering global immigrant investor programs, and the booming “birth tourism” industry, which caters to Chinese who want to give birth in the U.S. to secure American passports for their children.

She reported extensively on the record number of Americans giving up citizenship over U.S. tax complexities. Her coverage was honored with a “Best in Business” award in 2013 from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Other coverage highlights included reporting on the aftermath of a major earthquake that hit Taiwan in 2016, a range of features for CNN Travel, and a debut appearance on CNN Español that involved hitting a gong. (watch here).

Sophia was named an Abe Journalist Fellow by the Social Science Research Council and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership in 2015, and spent about two months in Japan in 2016 reporting a series of features looking at the country’s challenges in boosting its ranks of working women, and the impact on the economy.

Sophia’s work has long focused on the intersection of business and government. Before joining CNN in 2013, she reported for Bloomberg News, based in Hong Kong and Washington, D.C., where she broke market-moving scoops, obtained exclusive interviews, and dove into troves of data to produce features. She began her career in Time Magazine’s Washington bureau, covering an eclectic mix of stories, from President Obama’s first term to the impact of technology on our lives.

She is fluent in Mandarin, attempts to speak basic Taiwanese, Cantonese and Spanish, is studying Japanese, and can always order a lavish meal in French.

When Sophia isn’t busy reporting, she is tickling another kind of keyboard. She is an accomplished classical pianist, and has performed in prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Sophia has been described by the New York Times as a performer whose “music literally pulls her off the piano bench; she ranges up and down the keyboard so quickly and with such ferocity that mere sitting will not do.” She is also the co-founder and pianist of critically acclaimed classical ensemble, Western District, and records music for the Lawfare Podcast, which focuses on national security law and policy.

Sophia holds a B.A. in English, with Honors, and a B.Mus. from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music.

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