The 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”

The 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference

 “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”


28 June 2019, Friday

Orchard Hotel Singapore

442 Orchard Road, Singapore, 238879

Co-organized by National University of Singapore &

Murdoch University, Singapore and Australia


*Open to registered attendees ONLY.



Keynote Panel (830-930a) – Ballroom 3 Panelists: Audrey Yue, John Erni, Fran Martin

Moderator: Tania Lim

Tea Break (930 – 945a)  
Panel 1.1 (945 – 1115am) – Ballroom 3 CNM20/FASS90 panel – Beyond China (Chair: Weiyu Zhang) Help: Xi Yipeng
1 Global Internet Governance: Perspectives from China, Malaysia and Singapore Susan Leong, Terence Lee
2 Between the Online and Offline: Self-Organization and Representation in China, France and Russia Anna Shpakovskaya, Charlotte Fouillet


3 Technology-assisted Political Awakening among the Silent Minority: The rise of China-based social media platforms and their role in the information environment and opinion space for new U.S. immigrants Jingsi Christina Wu
4 Designed for the Bottom of the Pyramid: Examining a Chinese Phone Company in Africa LU Miao
5 A Study on the Overseas Transcultural Fandom of Chinese Internet Literature Xiao Jun, Xie Xi
Panel 1.2 (945 – 1115am) – Lavender Room Governance/Surveillance (Chair: Peter Yu) Help: Chen Zhuo
1 When does online expression lead to real-world harms? A qualitative analysis of incidents of users arrested for their social media use in China Lotus Ruan, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, , Jeffrey Knockel
2 Fabricating legitimacy: cyber propaganda on China’s WeChat Titus Chen
3 Specific Propaganda, Censorship and Defense against External Criticism in China Dongshu Liu, Li Shao, Fangfei Wang
4 Championing Democracy in an Authoritarian Society: The Effects of the American Embassy’s Social Media Operations on Public Opinion in China Haifeng Huang
Panel 2.1 (1115-1245pm) – Ballroom 3 News/Media (Chair: Gerard Goggin) Help: Weiyu Zhang
1 Reglocalization, Digital Platforms and Rise of regionally-networked cities media system in producing pan-Chinese palace dramas for transnational audiences Tania Lim
2 “News Ranger” in Digital China? Studying the Promise and Limitations of Online News in China through the Case of Dingxiangyuan (DXY) Yue Yang, Liyue Shi
3 Trust, But Verify – How Perceptions of Fake News Shape Media Trust in China Lars Willnat, Shuo Tang, Jian Shi
4 Microblogging in the Heart of China:Reconstruction of the Urban Environment in Beijing Jingxi Chen
5 From Dark Visitors to Entrepreneurial Geeks: The Evolution of Hacktivism in China Mei Nelson
Panel 2.2 (1115-1245pm) – Lavender Room Industry/Platforms (Chair: Peng Hwa Ang) Help: Chen Zhuo
1 The history of Zhongguancun: exploring the roots of the Chinese creative industry Gianluigi Negro
2 Social Capital, Financial Resource Access and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Exploring the Creation of Gaming Ventures in Shanghai Gejun Huang
3 Disappearing Bargain: the Erosion of Mobile Payment in China Yipeng Xi
4 Sharing economy, sharing culture: Chinese social networking’s  Online-and-offline simultaneous experience Hsin-Pey Peng
Lunch (1245-2pm) Rosewood Room, Level 2
Panel 3.1 (2-330p) – Ballroom 3 Gender/Fandom (Chair: Jie Zhang) Help: Xi Yipeng
1 Research on the Image Construction and Behavior of Fans in New Media Environment Cui Yunfang,  Hou Qiuya
2 Playing China’s University Entrance Exam: The Videogame ‘Chinese Parents’ and its Political Potentials Florian Schneider
3 “The Big Women:” A Textual Analysis of Chinese Viewers’ Perception towards Femvertising Vlogs Duan Xu
4 Social Media as the Arena for Feminist Movement in China: Opportunities and Challenges for the Un-self-identified Weibo “Feminists” Mao Chengting
Panel 3.2  (2-330p) – Lavender Room China’s Platform Capitalists and Dreams of Digital Power in the Asia Pacific and Beyond (Chair: Terence Lee) Michael Keane

Brian Yecies

Elaine Jing Zhao

Haiqing Yu

Susan Leong

Help: Chen Zhuo

Tea Break (330-345pm)  
Panel 4.1 (345 – 515pm) – Ballroom 3 Ideology/Politics (Chair: Jack Qiu) Help: Xi Yipeng
1 How Dark Corners Collude: Chinese Alt-Right Communities on Weibo Tian Yang, Kecheng Fang, Alvin Zhou
2 Understanding Public Participation in Politicized Consumer Activism: Mechanism of Participation in a Chinese Context Zhuo Chen, Lianshan Zhang
3 Social Media, Religion and Shifting Boundaries in Globalizing China Sng Bee Bee
4 Online Scrutiny of People with ‘Nice Cars’: the Class Struggle in China and Beyond Qian Huang, Rashid Gabdulhakov, Daniel Trottier
Panel 4.2 (345 – 515pm) – Lavender Room Users/Community (Chair: Florian Schneider) Help: Weiyu Zhang
1 From “Ambiguities” to Meanings: The process of meaning construction among early Internet users in China Wei Wang
2 Being a Different “Me” and Narcissism: A study on how selfie taking behaviors reveal digital identity among Chinese urban youth QIAN WANG, Bing Xiao
3 We Are All Lonely Feifeis: the Symbolic Construction of the Homogeneity and the Collective Consciousness in An Chinese Online Community Yingce GAO
4 Pushing, pulling, or drifting? The use of the Internet and information-seeking practices in everyday life Pu Yan
5 Who Sells Knowledge Online? Understanding Online Identities of Knowledge Influencers on Pay-for-Knowledge Platform Xiaoyu Chen, Han Zheng
Closing session (515-530pm) – Ballroom 3 Student Awards

Introduction to next year CIRC

NUS Pitch It 2018- A premier marketing competition for tertiary students in Singapore

(From left) Ho Hin Yang from FRANK by OCBC and four out of the five winners of Pitch It! 2018, namely Phay Bao Yu Melissa, Ng Jing Wen, Mallorie, Lee Yong Wei Ignatius and Wee Xuan Yi.


By Adele Tan Ren-Ai

Pitch It! 2018 is a Tertiary-wide Integrated Marketing Campaign Competition organised by the NUS CNM Society. This year marks the fifth edition of Pitch It! and it was organised in partnership with FRANK by OCBC and GOVT. With a total of 172 participants, making up 36 groups, each team had to put together an integrated marketing campaign to address a challenge posed by FRANK by OCBC. The challenge was:

How might we improve the OCBC Pay Anyone app to make it more inclusive and easily adopted?

Participants at the Opening Briefing for Pitch It! 2018 at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House in NUS on 3rd September 2018.

There were a total of 172 participants present from various tertiary schools in Singapore.










During the Opening Brief, Prof Audrey, the Head of CNM was invited to give a welcome speech. All teams received three masterclass held by FRANK by OCBC, GOVT and Ms Satveer Kaur who is an Instructor with the NUS Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre, as well as at the Department of CNM. After the first round whereby teams had to submit their pitches along with any other deliverables, FRANK by OCBC narrowed down to the top five teams who could proceed on to the final round; of which two teams were from NUS CNM. These five teams were then mentored by FRANK by OCBC and GOVT to refine their pitches and further develop them. The final session was held at OCBC Campus on 8th October 2018, with a panel consisting of panellists from FRANK by OCBC, GOVT and the CNM Department. A team consisting of 4 students from NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information and 1 student from Singapore Institute of Technology emerged as the champion for Pitch It! 2018.


The Winning Pitch (excerpt submitted by winning team)

Currently, every bank has been promoting their apps in a very product-oriented fashion, bringing attention to the features of the app and general benefits in a direct manner – such as how using the app is very convenient and simple to use. This has been the conventional way that banks have been using to promoting cashless payment apps. However, we believe that our target audience- Millennials, are not receptive or fond of hard-selling and blatant messaging.

Our creative expression: “Don’t be that guy, just use Pay Anyone!” aims to have the audience perceive OCBC Pay Anyone as less burdensome than cash by helping the audience realise the benefits of Pay Anyone through self-reflection. When we say “don’t be that guy” – we all know that one guy who’s always late, that guy who always losing his things, or that guy who always blinks in photos. Nobody wants to be that guy – because being that guy means sticking out for the wrong reasons. He draws negative attention to himself, inconveniences others, and may even upset or frustrate others. With the help of our key insight that image consciousness is synonymous with millennials, we believe our creative expression will get them to reflect on their own experiences with cash and realise how burdensome it may be compared to using Pay Anyone on their own.

One example of how we are tying this idea to our tactics would be our recommendation to include a bill-splitting feature that helps to track payments and send automatic reminders in Pay Anyone. By including a feature that facilitates the bill-splitting process from beginning to the end, users no longer have to deal with “that guy” who does not remember to pay his share of the bill.

Implemented in NTU where almost all stores in NTU already accepts QR scanning as a mode of payment- we are confident our tactics will encourage our audience to adopt the app and integrate it into their daily living.


The Organisers


Several members of the 14th NUS CNM Society who had contributed to the success of Pitch It! 2018. Spearheaded by Adele Tan Ren-Ai, Project Director of Pitch It! 2018 and Quinntasha Ong, President of the 14th NUS CNM Society (5th and 6th from the left, respectively).
Behind the success of Pitch It! 2018, is the CNM Society. Spearheaded by Adele Tan, the Project Director of Pitch It! 2018, and Quinn Ong the President of the CNM Society, Pitch It! was the biggest external project for the society. With help from CNM’s Industry Advisory Council, the society was able to quickly secure a partnership with FRANK by OCBC and GOVT through CNM alumni networks. The CNM Society also actively promoted and publicized to students both on social media, and on the ground at various tertiary school visits. They also leveraged on FASStival, Student Life Fair, and various other student groups such as the NUS Engineering Society, Psychology Society and Political Science department to get a wider reach into the NUS community. These helped immensely in attaining one of the highest turnouts in the history of Pitch It! competitions.


(Extreme left) Dr Jiang Shaohai the NUS CNM Society Advisor, (2nd from right) Ho Hin Yang from FRANK by OCBC, (Extreme right) Jegan Das Haridas from GOVT, and (Middle) the five finalist groups who had entered into the final round of Pitch It! 2018.

Dr Jiang, FRANK by OCBC, and GOVT were given gifts of appreciation by the NUS CNM Society.











Dr Jiang Shaohai, the CNM Society Advisor expressed how proud he was of the CNM Society; saying that he was extremely impressed with how Pitch It! 2018 had turned out, where Adele, Quinn and their Society had made great efforts in making it a very successful event.
As the Project Director of Pitch It! 2018, I would like to thank Prof Audrey, Dr Jiang, the CNM Department, FRANK by OCBC, GOVT, as well as my CNM Society for their support and help rendered throughout this year and a half long project. Each of you have played an important part in making Pitch It! 2018 a huge success!


More about Pitch It! 2018

Past clients that Pitch It! has formed a partnership with include VISA, Singapore Press Holdings and MediaCorp. This year, students from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, and Nanyang Polytechnic participated in the competition.

Too keep up to date with future CNM events, follow CNM Society on our social media – Website, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Catch more of Pitch It! 2018 at the official gallery.
Want To Work With CNM?

Excited about what we do at CNM? If you are an organization or individual that is passionate and interested in working, mentoring and communicating with our students, reach out to us by leaving a comment below.

Call for Papers – The 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference

The 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference

 “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”


28 June 2019, Friday


Co-organized by National University of Singapore &

Murdoch University, Singapore and Australia



The Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore, together with Murdoch University, Singapore and Australia, welcome scholars from all disciplinary backgrounds to the 17th annual Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC), to be held in Singapore on Friday, 28 June 2019.

The theme for CIRC 2019 is “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”.

Papers or panel proposals that address the theme directly or broadly are welcome, as are presentations that are related to the economic, political, cultural, or social dimensions of internet use and digital cultures in China, as well as its reverberations beyond China. This means that presenters are encouraged to submit and share their research findings and ideas on the implications of digital cultures that are local, national, transnational, or global to China.

The Conference Theme

As the epitome of digital cultures, the Internet – and its concomitant technological spin-offs such as smartphones and other digital devices – is often attributed as the cause of rapid media, social, cultural and political developments in China. This is true not only in China, it is also true in every location that has embraced the Internet as a way of life.

Amidst the speed of change in the world of Chinese Internet, there is consensus that there has not been sufficient nor sustained scholarly efforts to examine how digital cultures have been impacted, not just in China, but beyond. After all, the Internet is by its very design global, even though it will always seek to maintain at the very least a semblance of national specificity and sovereignty.

To this end, CIRC 2019 proposes to interrogate questions around this theme – including inter alia:

  • What is the state of the Chinese Internet vis-à-vis the global digital culture?
  • What new forms of digital cultures have emerged in recent years? Do they replicate old cultural formations or are they new dynamics of communication?
  • How do digital cultures shape our sense of ‘cultural imaginaries’ or ‘collective consciousness’?
  • Have local and/or global Chinese identities been shored up or further contested with increased Internet engagement?
  • Are Chinese diasporic communities challenged or empowered by new forms of digital cultural use? Do they extend and/or accelerate established logics of social interactions, group affiliations, and governance?
  • How do national development policies on culture and digital innovation (e.g., China’s ‘Internet+’ policy) intersect with local/international efforts for digital collaboration?
  • What are the manifestation, organization, and efficacy of digitally enabled participatory culture?
  • How does popular culture interact with digital technologies to shape social relationship, value formation and changes, and collective actions?
  • What regulatory structures have emerged or leveraged to govern the Internet and digital cultures or the related practices?
  • How are traditional methods of Internet censorship and other gatekeeping functions relevant to regulating digital cultural use?

There are many other discourses that are worthy of further analyses. We invite contributors to CIRC 2019 to put these issues to the test not only in the Chinese contexts, but also beyond China, and to explore the idea of ‘digital cultures’ through both critical, theoretically-minded research and innovative empirical methods.

Paper and Panel Proposals

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 the internet in the culturally Chinese world. This may include (but not limited to) topics such as:

  • The economic and financial aspects of Chinese Internet industry (including the online operation of news media)
  • The organizational culture and practice of Chinese Internet companies (including the onlne operation of news organizations)
  • The ethical challenges facing Chinese Internet
  • Social and political participation in Chinese digital networks, as well as limitations to such participation (e.g. access, digital divides, etc.)
  • Internet and digital media usage in different parts of the culturally Chinese world, e.g. mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or overseas diasporic communities,
  • Internet politics and policies in the culturally Chinese world, including e-governance and cyber-security,
  • Digitally-enabled political activism and its limits,
  • Everyday use of networked technologies such as smartphones, tablets, Fitbits and other Geo-mobile devices in different social contexts,
  • The interaction between work and leisure on the Internet, as well as issues related to digital commerce and commercialization (e.g. when play and labour fuse into ‘playbour’),
  • China’s changing media environment in the face of microblogging and social chat (e.g. weibo and weixin),
  • Media convergence of different digital media technologies, formats, and genres on digital platforms,
  • Gaming and digital play,
  • Digital discourse and communication power in Chinese network society,
  • Media theory and digital methods in the Chinese context.

Proposals should be written in English. Abstracts for individual or co-authored papers should not exceed 400 words; while Panel proposals are limited to 1,000 words.


Proposals should be submitted by 1 February 2019 by email to:

The Organizing Committee will inform applicants of its decision by April 2019. Full versions of the accepted papers are to be submitted by 1 June 2019. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words, including notes and references, and should be sent to the organising committee via email.

Additional Information (preliminary):

Organising Committee:

Assoc Prof Zhang Weiyu (NUS)

Dr Tania Lim (Murdoch University, Singapore)

Assoc Prof Terence Lee (Murdoch University, Australia)


Location: TBD, Singapore

  • No registration fee for the conference will be required.
  • Participants will register in advance for the conference dinner [Price TBA].
  • The language of the conference will be English.
  • Open to the public, without fees, subject to registration in advance

FASS Awards Ceremony2018: Congratulations!

Congratulations to our Graduate Students and Teaching Assistants who have been awarded the Graduate Students Teaching Award at the FASS Awards Ceremony 2018!

Graduate Students Teaching Award Honour Roll
Ang Yee Hong Dennis


Graduate Students Teaching Award
Li Pengxiang
Ng Shi Jia Jessica Cara
Annisa Ridzkynoor Beta
Augustus Ceasar Destura Latosa
Bernadette Low Yan Fen