Fang, Ph.D.

Communication researcher

In the Media

I appear frequently in international media outlets, discussing issues related to media, journalism, digital technology, as well as Chinese politics and society.

Global Times: Publish and be deleted

August 3, 2013, Kecheng Fang0 Comments

Below is a Global Times article, based on Chinese netizens' (including my own) experience of China’s Internet censorship.

By Zhang Lei

He couldn't take it anymore.

When Hong Kong writer and poet Liao Weitang found his online photo album had been deleted by, he quit, leaving behind the 3,000 friends he had made over two years.

“I had a great time here,” he wrote in his leaving statement to users of the Chinese mainland social networking service, “despite my account twice being suspended and having 100 posts deleted.

“But just lately this website has gone insane. It’s like half of the 5,000 most-commonly-used words are banned.”

The final straw for Liao was the deletion of The Beautiful and Strong People, an album featuring Hong Kong youths and artists involved in a protest against the HK$66.7-billion Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou high-speed [...] Read more

Southern Weekly: Who are “old friends of the Chinese people”?

August 2, 2013, Kecheng Fang0 Comments

There is such group of foreigners, whom most Chinese citizens have never met. But once their names are mentioned, almost every Chinese will be automatically conditioned to label them as “old friends of the Chinese people”.

Edgar Snow, Norodom Sihanouk, Henry Kissinger, Joseph Needham, Juan Antonio Samaranch are some of the most well-known ones in the list of “old friends”.

“When Chinese deal with diplomatic relations, they incline to proceed from feelings or relationship, and blush to talk about interests. Therefore, the title ‘old friend’ emerged as substitute,” says Zhang Qingmin, professor of School of International Studies at Peking University.

The author researched the People’s Daily database from 1949 to 2010, in hope to find answers to the following questions: Who were officially identified as “old friends of the Chinese people”? Where did the friendship [...] Read more