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“The Cultural Political Economy of Digital Platforms: An Inter-Asian Perspective” Public Talk by Prof. Jack Qiu

4 March 2024 (Mon)

16:30 – 18:00



The Department of Cultural Studies hosted an engaging Public Talk featuring Prof. Jack Linchuan Qiu on the topic of “The Cultural Political Economy of Digital Platforms: An Inter-Asian Perspective.” Prof. Qiu, a distinguished Shaw Foundation Professor from Nanyang Technological University, shared his insights on the complexities of digital platforms within an inter-Asian framework.

Moderated by Prof. Pun Ngai, Chair Professor of the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, the event facilitated a dynamic exchange between the speaker and the audience. Prof. Qiu’s analysis of case studies and his research on the power dynamics and social implications of digital platforms in the region provided valuable insights.

The Public Talk by Prof. Qiu was a thought-provoking experience that deepened attendees’ understanding of the cultural political economy of digital platforms. The event highlighted the Department of Cultural Studies’ commitment to interdisciplinary research and intellectual dialogue.

Stay tuned for more exciting events organised by the Department of Cultural Studies as we continue to explore the evolving landscape of cultural studies and its intersections with various disciplines.

Event Highlights

Event Details:

Date: 4 March, 2024 (Mon)

Time: 4:30 – 6:00pm

Venue: LBYG01(in-person only)

Language: English

ILP (Lingnan Students only): 1.5 units in Intellectual and Entrepreneurship Development

Title: The Cultural Political Economy of Digital Platforms: An Inter-Asian Perspective

Speaker: Prof. Jack Linchuan QIU, Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University

Moderator: Prof. Pun Ngai, Chair Professor of Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University 


Cultural studies and political economy are two traditions, often pitched against each other, in critical media and communication research since the 1980s. The goal of this talk is to contend that, in order to understand present-day digital platforms from the Silicon Valley to Shenzhen and Beijing – and their social and cultural implications – it is imperative to combine both traditions of critical theory into a coherent lens of “cultural political economy (CPE)” that is structural and agentic, reflexive and geopolitical. Reviewing the field of platform studies that has been emerging in recent years, it is evident that the cultural work of platforms and their policy / regulatory maneuvers are two sides of the same coin. The rise of platforms as multi-sided markets powered by AI (artificial intelligence), high-tech whistleblowers, the gig economy, US-China tech war – all these require the combined approach of CPE analysis, especially from an inter-Asian perspective for scholars and students working in Asian and comparative contexts, striving for decolonial and deimperial praxis towards a better digital future.


Jack Linchuan Qiu is Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Author of more than 120 articles and chapters, he has published numerous books in both English and Chinese including Goodbye iSlave: A Manifesto for Digital Abolition (U of Illinois Press, 2016), World Factory in the Information Age (Guangxi Normal U Press, 2013), and Working-Class Network Society (MIT Press, 2009). Jack is an elected Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA) and a recipient of the C. Edwin Baker Award for the Advancement of Scholarship on Media, Markets and Democracy. He is also a Past President of the Chinese Communication Association (CCA).