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Who is Matt?

Matt Sheehan is a Fellow at The Paulson Institute’s think tank, MacroPolo, and the former China correspondent for The WorldPost. His research focuses on the Chinese and American innovation ecosystems, specifically in artificial intelligence. Matt has lived between China and the San Francisco Bay Area for the past decade, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. In 2018, he was shortlisted for the Young China Watcher of the Year Award.

You can read his full bio here.

Praise for The Transpacific Experiment

Sheehan cuts right to the heart of the relationship between Silicon Valley and China: the tangled history, the current tensions, and the uncertain future. The Transpacific Experiment is a must-read.
— Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China and founder of Sinovation Ventures
A revealing, refreshing dive into one of the most telling nexuses of the U.S.–China relationship. Sheehan’s colorful odyssey from college campuses to Beijing start-up land is a well-drawn portrait of how the two countries are forging our economic future.
— Te-Ping Chen, reporter for The Wall Street Journal
Nuanced, layered, and engaging, Matt Sheehan’s The Transpacific Experiment offers a fresh take on how China’s rise affects America, and how America affects China’s rise, through rich reporting in his home state of California, with a perspective gleaned from years of living and reporting in China.
— Mary Kay Magistad, former China correspondent for NPR and PRI’s The World

Tensions between the world’s superpowers are mounting in Washington, D.C., and Beijing. Yet, the People's Republic of China and the state of California have built deep and interdependent socioeconomic exchanges that reverberate across the globe, making California and China a microcosm of the most important international relationship of the twenty-first century.

In The Transpacific Experiment, journalist and China analyst Matt Sheehan chronicles the real people who are making these connections. Sheehan tells the story of a Southern Californian mayor who believes a Chinese electric bus factory will save his town from meth labs and skinheads. He follows a Chinese AI researcher who leaves Google to compete with his former employer from behind the Great Firewall. Sheehan joins a tour bus of wealthy Chinese families shopping for homes in the Bay Area, revealing disgruntled neighbors and raising important questions about California’s own narratives around immigration and the American Dream.

Sheehan’s on-the-ground reporting reveals movie sets in the “Hollywood of China,” Chinese-funded housing projects in San Francisco, Chinese immigrants who support Donald Trump, and more. Each of these stories lays bare the new reality of twenty-first-century superpowers: the closer they get to one another, the more personal their frictions become.

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