Nuances of Cyber Regulation in Various Socio-political Contexts

Wednesday, 20th – Friday, 22nd March, 10:00am-5:00pm HKT, CVA 932 & CVA 1022

The advent of the internet has brought numerous positive and negative impacts on the information order. On the one hand, it has enhanced the public or civic space, allowing grassroots power to be maintained to a certain extent; on the other hand, it has created information disorder, exemplified by the spread of fake news. This dilemma has led to suggestions from the government, experts, and society on whether and how the internet should be regulated. Thus, ‘power, control, and governance’ have become popular terms in the academic community in recent years.

Our symposium aims to move beyond the binary opposition of “should” and “should not,” and the focus of administrative research on “how to manage,” to emphasize a more subtle and nuanced perspective. Situated in the context of authoritarian regime, this symposium is built on the assumption that legislated and institutionalized control of public discourse by the state mainly serves the purpose of protecting public interest in democratic societies and legitimizing the ruling regime in authoritarian ones. To the extent that all cyber laws and policies are restrictive, attention ought to be paid to variances in the areas where constraints are imposed in different socio-political settings.

Our symposium will be contextualized in mainland China and its neighbouring Hong Kong on the other side of the geographical and administrative border. Despite creeping intervention by the central government in local Hong Kong affairs, the “one country, two systems” policy lingers on, continuing to sustain the territory’s polity and mass communication ecology which is more relaxed and democratic than its draconian counterpart.

This symposium will feature presentations from a dozen leading scholars from the Greater Bay Area who will share their ongoing research on the nuances of institutionalised regulation of cyber spaces. This symposium will also feature a PhD colloquium in the format of a roundtable discussion on the third day (Friday, 22 March) of the event. All are welcome to join!

Lunch will be served. For catering purposes, please register to attend here.

For enquiries:

Programme Schedule

Day One: Wednesday, 20 March 2024, CVA 932

10:00am-12:30pm (Moderator: Professor Steve Guo, Hong Kong Baptist University)

Opening Remarks

Professor Cherian George, Hong Kong Baptist University

Introduction: Communication and Technology

Professor Bu Zhong, Hong Kong Baptist University

How does click change journalism in China? The Nexus of Internet Traffic, Media Performance and Political Governance

Professor Ji Deqiang, Communication University of China


Research Mingle



2:00pm-5:00pm (Moderator: Dr Angela Wang, Hong Kong Baptist University)

Creative Development Strategies for Traditional Media in the Context of Deep Media Convergence

Professor Huang Chuxin, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Regulating Internet Violence: Legal and Theoretical Issues

Professor Dong Tiance, Chongqing University

Media Co-governance: The Theoretical Context, Local Evolution, and Research Spaces of Mediatized Governance

Professor Hou Yingzhong, Guangdong University of Foreign Languages

Public Criticism and Journalistic Legitimacy in Social Media

Dr. Wang Haiyan, University of Macau


Day Two: Thursday, 21 March 2024, CVA 1022

10:00am-12:30pm (Moderator: Dr Zhuo Sheng, Hong Kong Baptist University)

Lao Hu’s Twitter War: journalist as semi-state actor in Twitter diplomacy of China

Dr. Ivy Shixin Zhang, University of Nottingham, China

“Life and Death” on the Internet: Metaphors and Chinese Users’ Experiences of “Account Bombing”

Dr. Fang Hui, Jinan University

Globalization of Platforms and Regulations Crisis

Dr. Meng Jing Fang Hui, Peking University, HSBC Business School




2:00pm-3:30pm (Moderator: Dr Vincent Huang, Hong Kong Baptist University)

Social Media Suspensions as Dignity Takings: Users’ Personal Loss in “Account Bombing”

Dr. Wu Shangwei, Jinan University

The Polemics of Internet Freedom in Asia: Reality, Perception, and Attitudes

Dr. Lex Chuanli Xia, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University-United International College





Close-door discussion for invited guests

Day Three: Friday, 22 March 2024, CVA 1022

10:00am-12:00pm (Moderator: Dr. Lex Chuanli Xia, BNU-HKBU-UIC)

Heuristics and Cues in Self-censorship: A Case of China

Dr Angela Wang, Hong Kong Baptist University

Privacy Cynicism and Diminishing Utility of State Surveillance: A Natural Experiment of Mandatory Location Disclosure on China’s Weibo

Dr. Yuner Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University

News-writing Bot vs. Human Journalist – Who is the Author, and Who gets paid? Comparing US, EU, and Chinese Copyright Regimes’ Implications for Automated Journalism

Ms. Joanne Xiaoqiong Kuai, Karlstad University, Sweden







  • Dr. Tian Yang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Dr. Zou Sheng, Hong Kong Baptist University

For detailed programme agenda, please click here

Organised by Centre for Media and Communication Research, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), and Communication-Media-Culture Funding Scheme (CMC) Team