Digital Chinese-language media in Australia: Impact, influence and insights | WEBINAR

March 29 2023

For first-generation migrants from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Australia’s Chinese-language media assumes a significant role in their daily efforts to negotiate the political, social and cultural challenges experienced on daily basis. This role has increased in importance during the current period of heightened tensions between Australia and the PRC.

What are the differences and connections between Chinese media in the PRC, Chinese-language media in Australia, Australia’s English-language media and transnational media from other Chinese migration destinations? How is digital Chinese-language news and media content in Australia produced and consumed? What role does WeChat play in the dissemination of information, and what is the impact of control, censorship and influence efforts on the platform?

The Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI) in partnership with the School of Communication, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, UTS hosted a webinar with expert observers and practitioners to tease out the complexities of the digital Chinese-language media landscape in Australia. Panellists approached these issues from a range of perspectives – industry, business models, media profession, policy, regulation, as well as media content and narratives.

Dr Wanning Sun, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at UTS and UTS:ACRI Advisory Board member, and Dr Haiqing Yu, Professor and Vice-Chancellor’s Principal Research Fellow at RMIT University, delivered a presentation on their recently released book Digital Transnationalism: Chinese-language media in Australia (Brill, 2023), before joining a panel with Leo Lian, Director and Founder of Lion Media Group, and Bang Xiao, Supervising Producer at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Chinese, moderated by Dr Fran Martin, Professor and Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. The discussion was followed by audience Q&A.

Digital Transnationalism: Chinese-language media in Australia (Brill, 2023) is available for purchase. Work on the book was supported by a three-year Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (DP180100663, Chief Investigators: Wanning Sun and Haiqing Yu) ‘Chinese-language digital/social media in Australia: Rethinking soft power’.

Time: 5.30pm to 7.00pm 


transcript of the event is available.


About the speakers

Dr Wanning Sun

Wanning Sun is Acting Chair of the UTS:ACRI Advisory Board, a UTS:ACRI Research Associate, and a Professor of Media and Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. She is a specialist in a number of areas, including Chinese media and cultural studies; rural-to-urban migration and social change in contemporary China; and soft power, public diplomacy and diasporic Chinese media. She is the author of three single-authored monographs: Leaving China: Media, Migration, and Transnational Imagination (2002); Maid in China: Media, Morality, and the Cultural Politics of Boundaries (2009); and Subaltern China: Rural Migrants, Media, and Cultural Practices (2014). Two of her edited volumes—Media and the Chinese Diaspora: Community, Communication and Commerce (2006) and Media and Communication in the Chinese Diaspora: Rethinking Transnationalism (2016)—document the history and development of Chinese language media in Australia, North America, Europe, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Dr Haiqing Yu 

Haiqing Yu is Professor of Media and Communication and ARC Future Fellow RMIT University. She is also a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. Haiqing is a critical media studies scholar with expertise on Chinese digital media, technologies and culture and their sociopolitical impact in China, Australia and the Asia Pacific. Her current projects examine the social implications of China’s social credit system, technological innovation, and digital transformation; digital transaction platforms in Asia; and Chinese-language digital/social media in Australia. She is the author of Media and Cultural Transformation in China (Routledge, 2009); co-author of Digital Transnationalism: Chinese-Language Media in Australia (Brill, 2023), Culture, Technology and Platforms: China’s Digital Presence in the Asia Pacific (Anthem, 2020), and Sex in China (Policy, 2015); and co-editor of WeChat and the Chinese Diaspora: Digital Transnationalism in the Era of China’s Rise (Routledge, 2022).

Mr Leo Lian

Leo Lian is the Director and founder of Lion Media Group, one of the largest Chinese digital media outlets based in Melbourne, Australia. Their media/influencer channels owned and operated on Weibo, WeChat and Red Book have reached over 400,000 Chinese audiences in Melbourne. Mr Lian is an entrepreneur, digital marketer and strategy analyst with more than 10 years of direct experience in digital media and marketing. He and his team have helped more than 600 businesses successfully tap into the local Chinese market through their media channels in the past nine years. Mr Lian is also currently an MBA candidate at Tsinghua University.

Mr Bang Xiao

Bang Xiao is an award-winning journalist and a supervising producer for ABC Chinese. Bang's work often focuses on China and its influence in Australia. He has written on topics from Chinese censorship system, rising nationalism, and tumorials in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, to China's relations with Australia. As a bilingual reporter at ABC's Asia Pacific Newsroom, Bang delivers his work through the lens of Australia's migrant communities. 


About the moderator

Dr Fran Martin

Fran Martin is Professor and Reader in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne and author of Dreams of Flight: The Lives of Chinese Women Students in the West (Duke UP, 2022). Her best known research focuses on television, film, literature and other forms of cultural production in contemporary transnational China (The People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), with a specialisation in transnational flows and representations and cultures of gender and sexuality. She recently completed a 5-year ARC Future Fellowship project that uses longitudinal ethnography to research the social and subjective experiences of young women from China studying and living in Australia (http://www.mobileselves.org).


Event Information
March 29 2023
5:30 PM
Webinar (online-only)