Course Code

CHES3004/ CCSS3101

Course Name

Media China


Tue 10:30-13:15




Dr. Alberto GEROSA

Teaching Assistant


Course Description

This course will introduce students to significant selected themes on Chinese Media and the Country’s Digital Transformation. The phrase “digital transformation” refers to an array of changes in infrastructures, devices, practices and cultures brought 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 mediate people’s lives, career, the future of humanity in the broadest sense. You will explore different facets of digital China: online civil society, virtual arts, platform labour, and geopolitics. A choice of readings and films will provide opportunities to discuss various methods used to “feel” digital, from ethnographic observation and interviews to digital humanities. Students can choose to complete their final research project as a written assignment or as a video essay.

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

  • Project Coach Session  

Week 4           E-commerce, Innovation, and Development

  • Project Presentations  

Week 5           Love, Intimacy, and Family in Digital China

  • Project Presentations 

Week 6           Platforms and Labour 

  • Project Presentations  

Week 7           So Hot Right Now: Digital Culture in China

  • Midterm Exam for Ug students/Ethnographic Interview Assignment Submission for MA students
  • Project Presentations  

Week 8           The Digitalization of Power

  • Project Presentations

Week 9           Public Sphere and Civic Engagement in Digital China

  • Project Presentations

Week 10         Dreaming of Money in Digital China

  • Project Presentations

Week 11         Literature, Film, and Art in Digital China  

  • Project Presentations

Week 12         Technonationalism and Globalization

  •  Project Presentations

Assessment & Assignments

Participation: 20%

At every session, the instructor will provide some themes to prepare for the next session. Students need to prepare elements to answer these themes, such as ideas from the readings, videos, images, links to news articles, illustrations, interesting charts or figures or just personal reflections.

These ideas will be discussed in class.


Ethnographic Interview: 25%

Interview someone whose work has been contributing to the Chinese digital economy, or that has an interesting story of being influenced by it, and either write up a report in 5-8 pages; OR shoot and edit a 3-5 mins video. A detailed guideline will be provided in class. Deadline: 22nd March


Research Project: 55%


Each student will pick one of the given topics discussed in class to build one research project on Digital Strategies under the COVID-19 Challenges to demonstrate her critical understandings of the issue. The project contains three parts:


  1. Research Proposal (5%): two-page project proposal that provides basic Info of the study (specific theme, specific locale in China [including HK], key questions to ask, research methods, sources, a reference list), deadline for submission: 23 Jan 2022


  1. Research Presentation (10%): A three-minute presentation with the aid of PowerPoint slide to introduce the specific contextual information and key analytical points regarding the selected case based on reading and research; followed by a two-minute Q&A from your peers


  1. Digital Diary of Your Research Project (5%): Create a 3-minute Vlog to record your research journey; a public screening at the end of the term


  1. Final Project Written or Film Report (25%): the report should provide specific information and critical analysis of the case, constructing an in-depth description of the issue at stake while applying some of the concepts or theories mentioned in class to the analysis. The (written) report should be 2000 words for Ug students and 3000 for MA students. 12-point Time New Roman font, 1-inch margin at all sides, 1.5-spaced, page numbered, with word count in the end of the essay, with a reference list in the end in MLA bibliographic format. Title page is needed. The (video) report should be 6-8 minutes for Ug students and 12-15 minutes for MA students.

    Specific instructions and recommendations will be posted after the start of the semester. 


  • For written versions, an e-copy of the final report in WORD file (.doc) must be submitted to the Blackboard together with a signed Veriguide receipt no later than 5pm on April 28 (Thur), 2022. NO late submission will be accepted. Students should submit the papers to the Veriguide system and sign the Veriguide receipt. See the website:

  • Any cases of plagiarism will be severely penalized and reported to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, which could result in failure or expulsion from the University. 

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.