Xing Tong was born in Linyi, Shandong province. His courtesy name was Ziyuan, literary name Zhiwu. His literary names included Danmiansheng and Fangshandaomin, as well as Laiqinjiyuanshanzhu which he used in his later life. Xing passed the Imperial Exam in the second year of the Wanli period in the Ming Dynasty, and the highest position he held was a Sub-Director (shaoqing) of a local court of the Imperial Study (xingtaipusi). He was a calligrapher and drew on the works by Wang Xizhi. He also painted orchids, bamboos, animal nests and stones. He was acknowledged as one of the “Four Great Calligraphers of the Late Ming Dynasty” along with Dong Qichang, Mi Wanzhong and Zhang Ruitu.