WeChat and Chinese diaspora

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WeChat and Chinese diaspora

Day 3: 27 June 2021

Melbourne, AEST (UTC +10) | 17:00 – 18:00

Beijing, CST (UTC +8) | 15:00 – 16:00
London, BST (UTC +1) | 08:00 – 09:00
New York, EDT (UTC -4) | 03:00 – 04:00
Los Angeles, PDT (UTC -7) | 00:00 – 01:00

Xinyu Zhao | Deakin University
Josh Stenberg | Sydney University
Hangwei Li | SOAS, University of London
Natalia Ryzhova | Yandex University
Yulia Kodzhaeva | Yandex University
Xinyu Promio Wang | Ibaraki Christian University
Yijia Zhang | University of British Columbia
Gianluigi Negro | Siena University and China Media Observatory
Lala Hu | Catholic University of Milan

Wanning Sun | University of Technology Sydney

Haiqing Yu | RMIT University


This panel explores the global uptake of WeChat as the preferred social media platform in the Chinese diaspora, asking what role WeChat plays in the processes of marginalisation, exclusion, empowerment or place-making. Has WeChat become the instrument of China’s public diplomacy or is a more complex picture emerging? Does WeChat enable the Mandarin-speaking migrants to continue to live in a ‘Chinese world’, and does it pose a challenge to the migrants’ integration into the society of their host country? Papers in this panel, situated in their respective national context – Australia, Canada, Japan, Africa, Brazil, and Russian – speak to these questions, and point to complex answers.


Xinyu Zhao

Xinyu (Andy) Zhao recently finished his PhD at Deakin University. His doctoral project is a digital ethnographic study of Chinese international students’ everyday use of social media in Australia. Born and educated in China, Zhao holds an MA degree in English Language and Literature from Renmin University of China where he was a member of its Australian Studies Centre between 2012 and 2015. His recent publications have appeared on Media International Australia and Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration.

Hangwei Li

Hangwei Li is a PhD candidate and a teaching fellow at the department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, University of London. She was also a visiting scholar at Harvard Kennedy School and a researcher at the Global Development Policy Center. Before starting her PhD, she worked in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia for three years as journalist and researcher. Hangwei was also a silver medal winner from United Nations Correspondents Association in 2017.

Josh Stenberg 

Josh Stenberg is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies. The author of Minority Stages: Sino-Indonesian Performance and Public Display (U of Hawai’i Press, 2019), his research focuses on Chinese-language transnational culture, including theatre and literature.  


RYZHOVA Natalia and KORESHKOVA Yulia, Palacky University in Olomouc (https://sinofon.cz/)

Xinyu Promio Wang is a PhD student at the Ibaraki Christian University.

Yijia Zhang is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include migration and globalization, social media, platform economy and ethnography. Yijia received her Master’s degree in the School of Communication at the Simon Fraser University. Her thesis examined the creative practices around WeChat-based ride-hailing platforms that are popular among Vancouver’s Chinese communities.

Gianluigi Negro

Gianluigi Negro is Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies at Siena University and China Media Observatory (University of Lugano, Switzerland) research fellow. His research focuses on Chinese media history and Chinese Internet governance.  

Lala Hu

Lala Hu is Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Catholic University of Milan. Her research interests lie in the fields of international marketing, cross-cultural marketing, and digital marketing with focus on the Chinese market.

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