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19th Chinese Internet Research Conference China and the Future of Internet

May 23 @ 8:30 pm - May 24 @ 6:00 pm HKT

Chinese Internet Research Conference


The 19th Chinese Internet Research Conference

China and the Future of the Internet

23-24 May, 2022

School of Communication and Film

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

(Hybrid Conference)


The School of Communication and Film at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) welcomes scholars from all disciplinary backgrounds to the 19th annual Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC), to be held in Hong Kong and online on Monday and Tuesday, 23-24 May, 2022. The theme for CIRC 2022 is China and the Future of the Internet.


China’s internet is flowering and provides successful examples of digital transformation in domains such as economic and social development, finance, entertainment, cyber governance, health, and more. Being the world’s largest internet market by several measures, the Chinese internet has a great impact on individual and collective life at the domestic, regional, and global levels. The Chinese internet offers an innovative model of a state-led digital capitalism with a strong developmental dimension. This model differs from the dominant internet discourse, which focuses on market-based solutions for digital empowerment and for creating and supplying cyber consumers. Amid the rise of the Chinese Soft Power and the country’s hardware proficiency, questions can be raised concerning how the Chinese model of the internet – with its distinctive values and practices – intersects with its Western counterparts.

Since the internet technology will continue to transform the economic, political, cultural, social, and health sectors of China and other countries, the cooperation, competition, confrontation, and convergence of the Chinese model with other models will have a critical role in characterizing the future of the internet. Under this broad theme, a wide range of issues – from ethics, information, crisis management, government-citizen relationship, participation, and lifestyle to data technologies, digital diplomacy, internet laws, information ecologies, and cyber governance – are worthy of scholarly inquiry.

To this end, CIRC 2022 proposes to interrogate questions around, but not limited to, the following topics:

● To what extent has China evolved an internet model?

● Is China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) providing a new digital infrastructure for globalizing the state-led cyber-capitalism? Is it replicable among other developing countries?

● How successful have China’s efforts been towards data localization and data management?

● China has used data for development in innovative ways by deploying AI. How does the outside world view this – especially in reconciling large-scale and extensive surveillance with meeting developmental needs of its people, particularly in rural areas?

● China has developed its own interpretations about the principles of global cyberspace such as being ‘multilateral, democratic, and transparent.’ How do the Chinese interpretations and practices of cyber governance and digital democracy differ from their Western counterparts?

● How is ‘internet sovereignty’ understood in domestic discourse in China in comparison to perspectives from the outside world? What is the role of national governments in global cyber governance?

● China’s digital economy has increased rapidly in recent years, particularly in the areas of e-commerce and fintech. What are the major risks and opportunities of further digitalization of the Chinese economy?

● From a health perspective, what opportunities and challenges does the Chinese internet provide to risk management and disease control?

● What insights can be drawn from the Chinese government’s regulation of internet information and digital content?

● What is the impact of digital protectionism on China and other nations?

● In what ways can China shape the future of cyberspace?


Proposals are invited for paper presentations or panels that address one or more of the questions raised above, as well as proposals related more generally to questions concerning Chinese Internet. This may include (but not limited to) topics such as:

● Perspectives on the globalization of the Chinese internet

● Internet and social development

● AI, blockchain, and machine learning: Lessons learned from the Chinese experiences

● China’s digital economy and its impacts on domestic market and beyond

● Ethical issues revolving around the Chinese model of internet

● Personal information protection, content controls, and cybersecurity laws

● Cyber governance and digital democracy

● Civic engagement in social and political affairs in the Chinese context

● Journalism in Chinese digital networks

● Misinformation and disinformation in the digital age

● The role of platforms in digital content production and dissemination

● Influences of platforms and algorithms on digital content use

● Health implications of Chinese internet technologies

● Users and digital content

● Digital technology in everyday life


All submissions should be written in English. This conference accepts abstracts and panel proposals. Abstract and panel proposals should be submitted by 1 February 2022 to: https://www.comm.hkbu.edu.hk/circ2022/. For further inquiries, please contact: [email protected]

Abstract: Individual or co-authored abstracts should be between 300-500 words, excluding the title page and references. The title page should include the title of the paper and authors’ names, academic/professional affiliations, and email address. The abstract should include central arguments and a summary of the substance.

Panel proposal: Panel proposals are limited to 1,000 words, excluding the title page, references, and appendices.

The organizing committee will inform applicants of its decision by March 2022. Full versions of the accepted papers are to be submitted by 1 May 2022. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words, including notes and references, and should be uploaded to the submission system or sent to the organizer via email.



• Centre for Media and Communication Research (CMCR), School of Communication and Film, HKBU


• AI and Media Research Lab, School of Communication and Film, HKBU

• Department of Communication Studies, HKBU

• Department of Journalism, HKBU

About the School of Communication and Film:

Located in Kowloon, Hong Kong, the School of Communication and Film at HKBU provides a comprehensive range of programs in communication at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels under three academic units: Department of Journalism, Department of Communication Studies, and Academy of Film. Home to some 35 research faculty and 40 PhD Students, the School has been recently rated Hong Kong’s leading institution for communication/media research outputs based on the 2020 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) conducted by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong.

Organizer Committee:

Leanne Chang, Co-Director, Centre for Media and Communication Research

Daya Thussu, Co-Director, Centre for Media and Communication Research

Rose Luqiu, Department of Journalism, HKBU

Celine Yunya Song, Department of Journalism, HKBU

Xinzhi Zhang, Department of Journalism, HKBU

Stephanie Jean Tsang, Department of Communication Studies, HKBU


Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Other information:

● No registration fee for the conference will be required

● The language of the conference will be English

● Open to the public, without fees, subject to registration in advance


Room 1022, Communication and Visual Arts Building,
5 Herford Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong Baptist University
Hong Kong,KOWHong Kong