Mr. Tong studied at the Lowrie High School, Shanghai High School and the Anglo-Chinese College in Shanghai. Before graduating from the high school he was compelled to leave school upon the death of his father in order to support his mother and family. He taught for one year in a high school in Ningpo and then joined the staff of the Commençai Press at Shanghai where he was employed for two years.
In 1907, with borrowed money, he was enabled to go to the United States to pursue a higher education. He attended Park College, a religious institution located near Kansas City for one year and in 1908 entered the University of Missouri where he studied the liberal arts and also took cources in journalism under the deanship of Dr. Walter Williams.
Upon graduation in 1911 from the University of Missouri where he received the A. B. degree, he went to Columbia University, N. Y. where he took courses in the post-graduate school.
Upon completing this work he served for a time on the reportorial staffs of the New York Times and the New York Evening Post, and also served as an assistant editor on the New York- Independent.
Mr. Tong returned to China in January 1912 and worked first as assistant editor of the China Republican, published at Shanghai. He then went to Peking and for a year acted as correspondent for a number of Chinese newspapers and one foreign paper in Shanghai and served as editor of the Peking Daily News during 1913-1914. He was also English Secretary of the Senate of the First Parliament during the same period of time.
In April 1914 Mr. Tong joined the National Oil Administration as an English secretary. At the end of 1915 he was commissioned by the government to go to America on a special mission. Upon his return to China, after the death of Yuan Shih-kai, he rejoined the National Administration. In 1917 he accepted a position as travelling agent for the Standard Oil Company. After a time he resigned from this position to become the Peking correspondent of Millard’s Review which is now known as the China Weekly Review.
In March 1918 Mr. Tong was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Chihli River Commission, Tientsin.
He was also contributing editor of the Review. Since 1919 Mr. Tong was Advisor to General Yang I-teh, Police Commissioner of Chihli and to Mr. Chu Hsing-yuan, Commissioner of Foreign Affairs in Tientsin. In, August 1920 he was appointed a Junior-Advisor of the Ministry of Communications and in October 1920 he became an executive secretary of the Railway Finance Commission. In October 1921 he was delegated by the Peking government to represent China at the International Press Conference in Honolulu.
In May 1922 Mr. Tong was appointed actirig councillor of the Ministry of Communications but he resigned from it in June 1922. In February 1923 he was appointed Secretary to Admiral Y. L. Woo, Minister of Communications. He was given the Third Class Chiaho in May 1923, the Second Chiaho in July 1923 and the Second Class Tashou Paokuang Chiaho in October 1923.