Wang Xiaoting file photo [26300]

Wang Xiaoting

Given NameXiaoting
Died9 Mar 1981
CountryUnited States, China


ww2dbaseWang Xiaoting (also known as Wang Haisheng or H. S. "Newsreel" Wong) was born in the United States in 1900. He began working in the news and photojournalism industry in the US in 1920. Between 1923 and 1925, he was a member of an American expedition to Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Tibet regions of China. In May 1929, he was on assignment in Beiping, China. In 1931, the Shanghai-based newspaper Shun Pao hired him as the director of the photography department; later in the same year, he was sent on assignment to document the life of ethnic minority communities in China.

ww2dbaseWhen WW2 began, Wang was under the employment of the US firm Hearst Metrotone News. On 28 Aug 1937, Wang and other cameramen working for various agencies gathered atop the Butterfield & Swire building in Shanghai on false rumors that the Japanese was to bomb a Chinese Army blockade along the Huangpu River at 1400 hours. Seeing that no attack materialized, all cameramen but Wang departed by 1500 hours, seeking other opportunities. At 1600 hours, 16 Japanese carrier aircraft arrived, dropping bombs on the South Station in Shanghai, killing 700 civilians and the immediate area who were waiting for an overdue train bound for Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China (Japanese Navy later announced that the pilots had mistaken the large crowd for a troop concentration). He drove in his personal automobile to the station, and noted the destruction:

It was a horrible sight. People were still trying to get up. Dead and injured lay strewn across the tracks and platform. Limbs lay all over the place. Only my work helped me forget what I was seeing. I stopped to reload my camera. I noticed that my shoes were soaked with blood. I walked across the railway tracks, and made many long scenes with the burning overhead bridge in the background. Then I saw a man pick up a baby from the tracks and carry him to the platform. He went back to get another badly injured child. The mother lay dead on the tracks. As I filmed this tragedy, I heard the sound of planes returning. Quickly, I shot my remaining few feet [of film] on the baby. I ran toward the child, intending to carry him to safety, but the father returned. The bombers passed overhead. No bombs were dropped.

ww2dbaseThe next morning, he took the newsreel footage to the offices of China Press, where it was decided that it was worthy of sending to the Hearst office in New York, New York, United States. The newsreel traveled by US Navy warship to Manila, Philippine Islands and then by a Pan American World Airways aircraft the rest of the way. By mid-Sep 1937, images of the crying child was seen in theaters and in magazines. The most popularly printed still from the newsreel was titled "Chinese Baby", "Shanghai Baby", "Bloody Saturday", and "Bloody Sunday". This image brought Wang fame, particularly in Chinese circles, and the image was produced widely in fundraising efforts. This image was later voted by Life magazine readers as one of the ten "Pictures of the Year" for 1937. In 1944, this particular newsreel sequence was used within the Frank Capra film "The Battle of China".

ww2dbaseShortly after, Japan accused Wang of staging the photograph, citing that the man who tended to the injured child was not the father, but Wang's colleague. Japan put a bounty of US $50,000 on Wang's head. Fearing for the safety of his family, he relocated his family to Hong Kong while he remained in China to document the war. He filmed the Battle of Xuzhou and the aerial bombing of Guangzhou.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Wang returned to the United States. From 1950 and into the 1970s, he was employed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). In the 1970s, MGM dispatched him to Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China on semi-permanent special assignment. He passed away from diabetes in Taipei in 1981.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jan 2017

Wang Xiaoting Interactive Map

Wang Xiaoting Timeline

28 Aug 1937 Wang Xiaoting, also known as H. S. "Newsreel" Wong, filmed the scenes at South Station in Shanghai, China immediately after a Japanese Navy aerial bombing. One of the stills featuring an injured and crying toddler, "Chinese Baby", would soon be seen by an estimated 25 million people world wide in the form of newsreels, newspapers, and magazines by the end of the year.
9 Mar 1981 Wang Xiaoting passed away in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Photographer Wang Xiaoting (also Wang Haisheng or H. S. Portrait of Wang Xiaoting (H. S. Portrait of Wang Xiaoting (H. S.

Photographs Taken by Wang Xiaoting

Chinese entertainer visiting troops, Shanghai, China, Aug 1937A boy scout tending to a toddler injured by Japanese bombing at South Station, Shanghai, China, 28 Aug 1937, photo 1 of 2A boy scout tending to a toddler injured by Japanese bombing at South Station, Shanghai, China, 28 Aug 1937, photo 2 of 2Boy in the ruins of South Station, Shanghai, China, 28 Aug 1937
See all 9 photographs by Wang Xiaoting

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More on Wang Xiaoting
Event(s) Participated:
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities

Wang Xiaoting Photo Gallery
Photographer Wang Xiaoting (also Wang Haisheng or H. S.
See all 3 photographs of Wang Xiaoting

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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