Conversations: Xueyin Zha on WeChat’s role in Australian democracy as seen from the grassroots

Conversations: Xueyin Zha on WeChat’s role in Australian democracy as seen from the grassroots

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In this episode of Conversations, Hervé Lemahieu speaks with Xueyin Zha and Jennifer Hsu about the Chinese messaging app and the role in it plays in the democratic participation of Chinese-Australians. They discuss the inherent risks and drawbacks of WeChat, such as censorship, but also explore how it became a medium of outreach and civic engagement for Chinese-Australians during the 2021 New South Wales local elections. The conversation references Xueyin's recent Lowy Institute Analysis paper titled WeChat's role in Australian democracy: A grassroots view.

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Speakers

Xueyin Zha is a doctoral candidate at the Australian National University, researching the global governance of advanced technology. She is also a researcher at ANU's interdisciplinary research project: Humanising Machine Intelligence. Her current research interests span technology regulation, international politics of the digital economy, and technology's role in multiculturalism.  

Areas of expertise: Global governance; Indo-Pacific strategy; Southeast Asia; Myanmar; Data-driven analysis
Areas of expertise: China’s state-society relations, Chinese civil society, NGOs, development, social policy, philanthropy, Overseas Chinese communities, Australia-China relations
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