Computing the State Power: The Construction of China’s Automatic and Computational Data Infrastructures in the Big Data Era


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants


Communication Studies


Today, big data infrastructures are increasingly being instrumentalized and institutionalized by the Chinese government for the purpose of governance and surveillance. This project attempts to understand the process by which China is investing in the future of data infrastructures and designing the new policy norms to advance its political, social, and economic goals. Using qualitative methods and computational approaches, this project explores: 1) the investments of big data infrastructures by Chinese governments and high-tech firms; 2) the automatic and computational aspects of China’s data infrastructures; and 3) the implications of big data analytics in China. This project argues that big data infrastructures and high-tech firms are rapidly integrated into China’s state power.