Profile
Resume – Short Version
Frank Sieren, aged 52, is regarded as ‘"one of the leading German China experts."(DIE ZEIT). He is a columnist with the Handelsblatt and has written several bestsellers about China (‘China Code’, ‘China Shock’, and ‘In Fear of China’).

No other German journalist has penned more books about China. Furthermore Sieren is the author of numerous TV documentaries for ARD and ZDF. Sieren has been living in Beijing for a quarter of a century.
His most recent book to be published: ‘The Future? China!’ (2018) with Penguin.
Resume – Medium Version
Frank Sieren, aged 52, is regarded as ‘"one of the leading German China experts."(DIE ZEIT). He is a columnist with the Handelsblatt and has written several bestsellers about China. No other German journalist has penned more books about China. Furthermore Sieren is the author of numerous TV documentaries for ARD and ZDF, as for example the first documentary ever about China’s involvement in Africa. Most recently Sieren shot the first long documentation of Michael Otto, the entrepreneur from Hamburg, in celebration of his 75 birthday.
Sieren has been living in Beijing for a quarter of a century. "Sieren is someone who proceeds after me in explaining the world with composure, " Peter Scholl-Latour commented on Sieren. His books ‘The China Code’ (2006, No.1 spot, economic bestseller list, Spiegel bestseller list) and ‘The China Shock’ (2008, ‘A brilliant book.’ – Suddeutsche Zeitung) sparked off an extensive Asia debate in Germany.
The analyses convinced Helmut Schmidt to co-author a book with Sieren (‘Neighbour China’). Schmidt decided to impart thitherto unpublished records of his numerous discussions with top Chinese politicians. ‘Sieren looks into the future without being misled by visions and ideologies,’ Helmut Schmidt said about Sieren. Afterwards Sieren wrote ‘In Fear of China’, ‘China the Plutocracy’ and ‘The Africa Boom’, also hugely successful. His latest book was published in autumn 2018: ‘The Future? China!’ with the Penguin publishing house, the world's largest.
Sieren is the co-founder and moderator of the Media Forum China, supported by the Bosch Stiftung, the most high-ranking meeting of German and Chinese journalists which has taken place annually since 2010. The forum was expanded in 2017 to become a trilateral meeting, including the USA.
Sieren has interviewed leading Chinese politicians and business leaders. No other western economic correspondent has lived in China longer than Sieren.
Resume - Long Version
List of Published Materials
Sieren, aged 52, is a best-selling author and documentary film maker. Born in Saarbrucken, he studied Political Science with a major in Economics in Trier and Berlin, and has been living for a quarter of a century in China. He is a columnist with the Handelsblatt. The Times has referred to him as ‘Germany’s authoritative China expert’. Sieren is one of the few German correspondents who has been in the position of being able to give a firsthand account of China’s ascent. In 1990 Sieren co-authored his first book with Ludwig Koehne: ‘The Politburo. The End of a Myth.’
In this book the GDR politburo member Guenter Schabowski, the man who opened the wall, recounts for the first time how things were done behind the scenes of the GDR politburo. With his Spiegel bestseller, ‘The China Code – How the Booming Middle Kingdom is Changing Germany’ he had “initiated a debate that is long-overdue," commented Stern magazine. The book was published in 2005 and was translated into five languages, including Chinese. The guidebook ‘Business Know-how China – for a Successful Business Trip’ was published in 2007.
In 2008 he brought out ‘The China Shock – How Beijing is Making the World Amenable for its Needs’, which also managed to make it onto the Spiegel bestseller list. ‘A brilliant book’, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung concluded and the German Financial Times praised that: ‘"Sieren stands out pleasantly from the competition. He does not lapse into numbers porn (ten percent growth – in one month), but instead analyses China’s global strategies. Sieren’s narrative style is solid and unpretentious. It is a report from the front of the global economy.’ The ‘China Shock’ climbed up to the No.1 spot on the German economic best-seller list.
Sieren also wrote ‘Chinese Takeaway – Valuable and Curious Facts from the Middle Kingdom’ in 2008 under the pen name Hans Hauenschield. Twenty years after the fall of the wall in 2009, Sieren published another book with the former member of the politburo Guenter Schabowski. ‘We Went Wrong with Almost Everything – The Last Days of the GDR’.
In September 2011 Sieren presented his latest analysis with ‘In Fear of China’. ’captivating and at the same time loaded with facts,’ was the Sueddeutsche Zeitung’s judgment. Sieren also managed to convince Helmut Schmidt with his analyses. The former Federal Chancellor granted the author access to the thitherto unpublished records of his numerous discussions with Chinese leaders. Back then Schmidt was the last living German who had met Mao. An account of these extraordinary experiences, unfolding over long discussions with Sieren, resulted in the book “Neighbour China”.
Thereafter Sieren wrote two books on specialized topics: ‘China the Plutocracy – How the Rise of the Yuan is Weakening the Euro and the Dollar’ (2013) and together with his brother Andreas: ‘The Africa Boom’ (2015) about China’s role in Africa.
His latest book: ‘The Future? China!’ was published in autumn 2018.
Sieren is the co-founder and moderator of the Media Forum China, supported by the Bosch Stiftung, the most high-ranking meeting of German and Chinese journalists which has taken place annually since 2010. The forum was expanded in 2017 to become a trilateral meeting, including the USA.
Also in his documentary films Sieren concerns himself with dramatic global transformations. ‘China’s Grip on Africa – The Fight for Influence, Power, Natural Resources and Markets’ was broadcast in 2007 on the occasion of the G-8 summit. This is the first time that a documentary film focuses on the involvement of the Chinese in Africa.
His film ‘Beijing Opera on a Persian Carpet’ examining the complicated relationship between China and Iran was successfully shown on ZDF in autumn 2008. At the invitation of the Iranian government almost twenty Bejing opera performers travel to Iran. Never before has Beijing Opera been performed in Iran. Are the Mullahs aware of what they are letting themselves in for?
In the summer of 2009 Sieren completed the documentary “China’s Young Elite in the Porsche Lane – Driving Fast on Germany’s Autobahn”. A group of newly rich Chinese drives through Europe in ten Porsches. They have their own particular view of the old world.
In 2010 ZDF showed his film ‘“Inside Asian Sweatshops – The Struggle to Enforce Workers’ Rights”. In this documentary Sieren gets to the bottom of working conditions in Asian factories. Are the inspection systems of C&A and Otto only company PR or do they actually improve the conditions of the seamstresses and weavers?
In February 2012 ARD broadcast as part of its documentary series ‘Countries – People – Adventures’: ’In the Currents of the Steppes’. The film tells the story of a Chinese-Mongolian ultra-light aircraft flier in Inner Mongolia, who with impressive aerial photographs charts the changes of his transforming homeland and thereby becomes an admonisher of climate change.


Sieren shot the film ‘Tibet – In the Valley of the Golden Monkeys’ for SWR in 2013.
Ziri and Zhadui, both just turned twenty, live in the far reaches of Tibet’s mountains in a remote mountain village. The role models of the two friends are traditionally Tibetan and fashionably western: the Dalai Lama and Justin Bieber. Their pride and joy is a clattering, old motorbike. However then one of them wants to head for a big Chinese city and the other wants to stay in the village.
In 2014 he made a film about the oldest half-Chinese German for WDR: ’My Mother, the Manchurian Princess’. Theodore Heinrichsohn, who everyone just calls Teddy, is born in north China in 1930 as the son of a Manchurian Princess and a German missionary. On the day when Mao marches into Shanghai Teddy is taking his school leaving examinations. He only narrowly escapes Mao’s henchmen.
In the same year Sieren’s film ‘Departure Denied – Locked up in China’ is produced in WDR. It involves Nils Jennrich, an art freight forwarder who is innocently sitting in a Chinese Jail. Only because of the help of the former Minister of Justice Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is he set free. It is a dramatic story of the non-transparency of the Chinese judicial system.
The film ‘Laura of Arabia – Alone Among Men’ Sieren shot and produced for WDR in 2016. In the emirate of Qatar Laura Wrede hunts with falcons, a completely male dominated sport. The main goal of the 30 year old is to compete in Al Galayel which is the biggest falcon hunt on the Arabian half-island – of course as the only, and above all, as the first woman ever.
In 2018 Sieren shot the film “ Michael Otto – A Life between Bangladesh and Blankanese’. There is not one other of the great German entrepreneurs of his generation who places such importance on the balance of profit and sustainable development, as well as of entrepreneurial success and social commitment, as Michael Otto, who turned 75 in 2018.