He hailed from the region of Yan 燕 (modern Hebei) and transmitted a new-text (or modern character) version of the Shijing "Book of Songs", and was thus the founder of the Han school of the Shijing (Hanshixue 韓詩學).
During the reign of Emperor Wen 漢文帝 (r. 180-157 BCE) he was appointed erudite (boshi 博士) for the "Book of Songs" and became the Grand Mentor (taifu 太傅) of Liu Shun 劉舜, Prince of Changshan 常山. He was known as an excellent disputer and challenged the great Confucian scholar Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒 in an open discussion before Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE).
Han Ying's interpretation of the Shijing was quite different than that of the Qi 齊 and Lu 魯 schools, the two other interpretators of that Classic. He compiled an "inner" and an "outer" commentary (Hanshi neizhuan 韓氏內傳 and Hanshi waizhuan 韓氏外傳), the Hangu 韓故 (Hanshi gu 韓詩故) and Hanshuo 韓說 (Hanshi shuo 韓詩說). He also contributed some less famous interpretations on the Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes" in his Hanshi yi 韓氏易.
Of these writings, only part of the Hanshi waizhuan has survived, as well as some fragements of the Neizhuan collected by the Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Zhao Huaiyu 趙懷玉 (1747-1823), and some small parts of the Hanshi gu and Hanshi shuo, collected by Ma Guohan 馬國翰 (1794-1857).