Experts

Aynne Kokas

Fast Facts

  • Non-resident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy
  • Term member of the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program
  • Expertise on U.S.-China relations, cybersecurity, media industry

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Asia
  • Domestic Affairs
  • Media and the Press
  • Science and Technology

Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ research examines Sino-U.S. media and technology relations. Her book Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017) argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the U.S. commercial media industry, most prominently in the case of media conglomerates’ leverage of global commercial brands. Her project at the Wilson Center, Border Control on the Digital Frontier: China, the United States, and the Global Battle for Data Security, examines the cybersecurity policy implications of the Sino-U.S. data trade.

Kokas is a non-resident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, a UVA Wilson China Fellow, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program. Her writing and commentary appear regularly in media outlets including the BBC, CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, The Washington Post, and Wired.

Aynne Kokas News Feed

The film industry has traditionally been dominated by studios in Hollywood, but there seems to have been a shift in the tide. The biggest movie in the world right now is a Chinese propaganda movie. The Battle at Lake Changjin is on track to become the biggest movie of the year, and the highest grossing Chinese film of all time. That alongside South Korea's Squid Game, has some in Hollywood nervous, and realising they may face more competition from Asian productions. Media studies professor at University of Virgina and author of "Hollywood made in China" Dr Aynne Kokas joined Kate Hawkesby.
Aynne Kokas NewsTalkZB
U.S. foreign policy with regard to China needs greater nuance in areas of potential engagement. China is a strategic competitor, and that presents risks to the United States. At the same time, the United States still benefits from cooperation in important aspects of climate, education, and health. By painting “China policy” with a broad brush, valuable opportunities for collaboration get lost.
Aynne Kokas Foreign Affairs
"If I was an investor, I would be very concerned about a strategy at this point that depended on access to the Chinese market and the good graces of Chinese film regulators," said Aynne Kokas, the author of "Hollywood Made in China" and a media studies professor at the University of Virginia. "To make very expensive films in anticipation of being able to deliver them to the Chinese market and then not being certain that's possible is actually a much more financially irresponsible strategy from my perspective."
Aynne Kokas Nikkei Asia
"There are Chinese blockbusters that Chinese filmmakers are making that people want to watch, and they feel less derivative than those made in Hollywood," said Aynne Kokas, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and the author of the book "Hollywood Made in China."
Aynne Kokas Business Insider
Last year, China overtook the US to become the top film market in the world. So now the question is, does China still need Hollywood? But though Hollywood films now face a tough China market, the journey of Chinese productions to the West doesn’t seem easy either. In this episode of The Talk, we talk to Aynne Kokas, an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. She shares with us her views on China-Hollywood relations in the post-pandemic era.
Aynne Kokas China Matters
China's recent crackdown on many things cultural rang some alarm bells. But what does it mean in practice? And what should US policymakers think about it? We talk to China experts Aynne Kokas and Robert Daly to understand.
Aynne Kokas Wilson Center