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Hong Shen

Research Scientist
Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
129 Baker Hall,
Pittsburgh PA, 15213


I am a Research Scientist at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. I received my PhD in Media and Communications from the Institute of Communication Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2017.

NEWS / RECENT TALKS
06/2018.
In August 2018, I will be joining the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon as a Systems Scientist.
04/2018.
My first book project, titled "Across the Great (Fire) Wall: China and the Global Internet", is now under contract with the MIT Press.
12/2017.
"The Social and Policy Dimensions of AI: A Comparative Perspective", 2017 AI Frontiers Workshop in Silicon Valley (NSF Center for Big Learning), Sunnyvale, USA.
02/2017.
"Across the Great (Fire) Wall: China's Internet Industry Goes Out", Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University
12/2016.
"Toward the 'External' Internet: The 'Going Out' of China's Internet Industry", United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society, Macau, China
11/2016.
I was selected as a Google Policy Fellow.
01/2016.
"Across the Great (Fire) Wall: China and the Global Internet", Agora Speaker Series, Department of Communication, University of Pittsburgh

RESEARCH

My research primarily focuses on internet industry and policy (with an emphasis on China), and social and policy implications of emerging technologies.

Internet Industry and Policy

Book project: Across the Great (Fire) Wall: China and the Global Internet

Currently, I am working on a book project on the policy and political economy of China's outward expansion in global cyberspace. Based on my PhD dissertation, it examines the multifaceted interactions between China and the global internet in the past three decades, especially China's outward cyber expansion, or the "going out" program that has gained momentum since the mid-2000s, and explores the changing social class relations that accompany and shape this new movement.

Often perceived only as a repressive authoritarian regime that aims at building an inward-looking national "intranet" or a "giant cage" (The Economist; April 6th, 2013), China in fact is now increasingly projecting power outward in this sphere. China-based internet giants, from Huawei, China Mobile, to more recent players like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, have all started to expand their reach in the international digital market. The state has also aggressively extended its influence in global internet governance. Meanwhile, Chinese tech leaders like Jack Ma have increasingly joined the global IT elite club. This book breaks down the "giant cage" metaphor, remapping the boundaries of the Chinese internet, and foregrounding its external dimension.

Social and Policy Implications of Emerging Technologies

I am also interested in exploring the social, ethical and policy implications of emerging digital technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and genomics. One recent book chapter explores the policy challenges related with genomic big data, which is published in a multi-disciplinary volume published by Springer.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Book Manuscript

  • Shen, H. Across the Great (Fire) Wall: China and the Global Internet [under contract with the MIT Press].

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Shen, H. (2018). Building a digital Silk Road? Situating the internet in China's Belt and Road Initiative. International Journal of Communication, 12 2683-2701. [PDF]
  • Shen, H. (2016). China and global Internet governance: Toward an alternative analytical framework. Chinese Journal of Communication, 9 (3), 304-324. [PDF]

Book Chapters

  • Shen, H. & Ma, J. (2017). Privacy challenges of genomic big data. In B. Shen, H. Tang, and X. Jiang (Eds.), Healthcare and Big Data Management, Springer.

Book Reviews & Other Writings

  • Shen, H. (2017). Review of The Internet Age by China’s Central Television (CCTV), Global Media and Communication, 13 (2), 208-209.
  • Shen, H. (2016). Is China buying the world again? Is Alibaba the poster child for global expansion? Digital Asia Hub, November.
SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
  • Shen, H. (June, 2018). The rise of Ant Financial: The Double Articulation of "platformization" and "infrastructuralization" in China. Annual Conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) , Eugene, Oregon.
  • Shen, H. (May 2018). "The Communist just beat us at Capitalism?": The "internationalization" of Alibaba. Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) , Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Shen. H. (May 2017). Decoding the "Wuzhen Summit": China and global Internet governance in a post-Snowden cyberspace. Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) , San Diego, CA.
  • Shen, H. (November 2016). Beyond the "Giant Cage" metaphor: China and the global Internet, 1987-2015. Annual Conference of the National Communication Association (NCA) , Philadelphia, PA. [Top Paper award]
  • Shen, H. (July 2015). The "going out" of China’s Internet industry: The case of Alibaba. Annual Conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) , Montreal, Canada.
  • Shen, H. (November 2014). From WSIS to WCIT-12: A "Chinese model" of global Internet governance? Annual Conference of the National Communication Association (NCA) , Chicago, IL.
  • Shen, H. & Diesner, J. (November 2014). Semantic network analysis of the public discourse on censorship in China. Annual Conference of the National Communication Association (NCA) , Chicago, IL.
  • Shen, H. (June 2014). The political economy of global Internet governance: A China centric study. The 12th Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC12), Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
  • Shen, H. (May 2014). Beyond Cyber-sovereignty? China’s policies toward global Internet governance (1987-2012). Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) , Seattle, WA.