Shang-Da is a tall man of Chinese descent with an unnervingly intense gaze. He has black hair that is cut very short on the sides and longer on top, and he uses gel to style it into spikes. He has a surprisingly deep voice.
Unlike many shapeshifters, Shang-Da prefers elegant dress clothes (with silk and polished wingtip shoes) for everyday wear. Regardless he is very good at blending into the scene of a small Tennessee town despite wearing brand-new clothes and ironing the jeans of his disguise. He is, however, not at all at home in the woods.
Shang-Da is the first lycanthrope that Anita met who carries a gun, a snub nose .38, and is comfortable doing so.
History within the series
Shang-Da transferred from the San Francisco Bay pack and has his prints on record from those times. He took the role of Richard's Hati without any fights, as no one else wanted the position that badly. Shang-Da has a strong dislike for Anita even before they first meet due to the fact that she hurt Richard in the only way Shang-Da couldn't protect him from—by being repeatedly unfaithful and a bad Lupa.
In Burnt Offerings Shang-Da is mentioned as one of the enforcers that Irving suspects Sylvie has been afraid of, and one of the reasons besides her small stature that she never tried to become an enforcer herself.
In Blue Moon Shang-Da accompanies Richard to Myerton, Tennessee as his bodyguard and becomes acquainted with Anita. Shang-Da's role as Richard's hati, specifically, is mentioned for the first time, and he's present for much of the action within the novel.