Chinese tech and the party-state: Privacy, profit and power

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 26 May 2021


Online Zoom event


Various speakers


Bell School Marketing Team

This seminar is the first in the Digital Politics in the Asia Pacific seminar series, which focuses on urgent and emerging issues in digital politics in the Asia Pacific region. The series is coordinated by Dr Sarah Logan, Dr Graeme Smith, and Dr Ross Tapsell.

Anti-trust initiatives and new data protection and privacy legislation suggest that the relationship between Chinese tech companies and the Chinese party-state is shifting in important ways. In fact that relationship has for a long time been more complex and nuanced than many analyses allow. This seminar goes into the detail of legal and political shifts in the relationship between the world’s biggest tech corporations and the government most interested in harnessing it.

Moderated by Dr Graeme Smith of the Little Red Podcast, this panel features Assistant Professor Rogier Creemers of the University of Leiden, Associate Professor Angela Zhang of Hong Kong University, and John Lee of the Mercator Institute for China Studies.

Assistant Professor Rogier Creemers, University of Leiden
Rogier Creemers is an Assistant Professor in Modern Chinese Studies. With a background in Sinology and Relations, and a PhD in Law, his research focuses on Chinese domestic digital technology policy, as well as China’s growing importance in global digital affairs. He is currently the principal investigator of a research project funded by the Dutch Research Council titled ‘The Smart State: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and the Law in China’. For the Leiden Asia Centre, he directs a project on China and global cybersecurity, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is also a co-founder of DigiChina, a joint initiative with Stanford University and New America. His book on cybersecurity in China will be published later this year by Oxford University Press.

Associate Professor Angela Zhang, the University of Hong Kong
An expert in Chinese law, Angela has written extensively on Chinese antitrust enforcement. Her book, ‘Chinese Antitrust exceptionalism: How the Rise of China Will Challenge Global Regulation’ was published by Oxford University Press earlier this year. Angela has broad research interests in the areas of law and economics, particularly transnational legal issues bearing on businesses. She is currently working on several projects pertaining to online platforms, trade and investment as well as the Chinese political economy. Angela is the Director of the Centre for Chinese Law, which promotes legal scholarship with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of China and facilitate dialogue between East and West.

John Lee, Mercator Institute for China Studies
John coordinates work in the MERICS’ research cluster on China’s use of digital technologies. His research covers emerging and foundational technologies in China’s domestic development and international relations, China’s science and innovation policies, and China’s approach to governance of the Internet and cyberspace. John works on related subjects including export controls, R&D ecosystems and supply chains in high-technology sectors. John’s academic background includes strategic studies, political science and international relations, history and international law.

Presented jointly by the Bell School, the University’s Humanising Machine Intelligence Initiative, and the ANU Regional Institutes

Updated:  29 November 2021/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team