Jim Weldon is from the north of England. After leaving secondary education, he worked for a decade in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. He then went to SOAS, under the University of London, to study Chinese. Upon graduation, he volunteered at a rural development agency implementing projects in south-west Sichuan. He then worked for an independent social development research journal in Beijing. Jim also undertook various translation projects, and when his post at the journal came to an end, this became his full-time occupation. He has translated literature, social science papers and monographs, journalism and art criticism.