Wu Ching Chao, who was born in 1901 in Anhui, enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1923. He received a bachelor of arts from in 1925 and then enrolled at the University of Chicago to study sociology where he received a master of arts in 1926 and a doctoral degree in 1928. Wu’s book “Chinatowns: A Study of Symbiosis and Assimilation,” and dissertation at the University of Chicago, “Chinese Immigration in the Pacific area” are considered early significant works in investigating the unusual difficulties faced by Chinese communities in the U.S.
Upon returning to China, Wu became a prominent sociologist and one of the most important representatives in Chinese urban sociology. In 1928, Wu served as a professor at Jinling University in Nanjing and as the chair of the department of sociology. In 1931, Wu became a professor at Tsinghua University and at the same time served as the director of academic affairs. In 1935, Wu served as a secretary for Administrative Council of Republic of China. He also served as a professor in sociology at Tsinghua University, Central University of Finance and Economics, and Renmin University of China.
Wu published numerous articles and several books including “Social Organizations,” “Urban Sociology,” “Biological Foundations of Society,” “The Fourth Type of Nations,” and “Jie Hou Zai Li.” His analysis of Chinese society has offered in depth insights to a better understanding of the Chinese land system, industrialization, and resource distributions.