Course Code

CHES3004/ CCSS3101

Course Name

Media China: Feeling Digital in Contemporary China


Tuesday 10:30-13:15


Prof. Jacqueline Zhenru Lin

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the digital transformation of China. The phrase “digital transformation” refers to an array of changes in infrastructures, devices, practices and cultures brough by technologies including but not limited to mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and other computers; websites, online games, virtual worlds, social network sites, apps, and blogs; and governments, corporations, nonprofits, activists, users, makers, hackers, players, and friends.

This course is designed to give you ideas, methods, and experience in understanding how these digital technologies in China change people’s lives, career, and the future of humanity in the broadest sense. You will explore different facets of digital China: e-commerce innovation, online civil society, virtual arts, platform labour, and geopolitics. A choice of readings will provide opportunities to discuss various methods used to “feel” digital, from ethnographic observation and interviews to digital humanities.

Course Outline


Week 1: Introduction: Digital Transformation and the Chinese Experience


Week 2: Understanding the Digital


Week 3: Infrastructure Policy and the Creation of the Chinese Digital Landscape


Week 4: Innovation, E-commerce and Development


Week 5: Forms of the digital divide in China


Week 6: Love, Intimacy, and Family in Digital China


Week 7: Platforms and Labour


Week 8: So Hot Right Now: Digital Culture in China


Week 9: The Digitization of Power


Week 10: Public Sphere and Civic Engagement in Digital China


Week 11: Dreaming of Money in Digital China


Week 12: Chinese Literature, Film, and Art in Digital Time


Week 13: Internship in Chinese Media Industry


Week 14: Technonationalism and globalization

Assessment & Assignments

Participation & Mapping Exercise (20%)

Pop-up Quizzes (15%)

Midterm Exam (20%)

Research Project (45%)