Experts

Aynne Kokas

Fast Facts

  • Director, UVA East Asia Center
  • 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 the C.K. Yen Professor at the Miller Center, director of UVA's East Asia Center, and an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ research examines Sino-U.S. media and technology relations. Her book Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty (Oxford University Press, October 2022) argues that exploitative Silicon Valley data governance practices help China build infrastructures for global control. Her award-winning first 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. 

Kokas is a non-resident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program.

She was a Fulbright Scholar at East China Normal University and has received fellowships from the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Japan’s Abe Fellowship, and other international organizations. Her writing and commentary have appeared globally in more than 50 countries and 15 languages. In the United States, her research and writing appear regularly in media outlets including CNBC, NPR’s MarketplaceThe Washington Post, and Wired. She has testified before the Senate Finance Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Aynne Kokas News Feed

We talk to Aynne Kokas, C. K. Yen Professor at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, about her new book "Trafficking Data." It's a sobering discussion.
Aynne Kokas Running the Traps podcast
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Aynne Kokas, C. K. Yen Professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, about digital sovereignty and our data in the digital world.
Aynne Kokas Converging Dialogues
“From TikTok and Fortnite to Grindr and Facebook, Aynne Kokas, C. K. Yen Professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, delivers an urgent look into the technology firms that gather our data, and how the Chinese government is capitalizing on this data flow for political gain.”
Aynne Kokas UVA Today
According to the University of Virginia's Miller Center C. K. Yen Professor Aynne Kokas, Beijing's strict zero-COVID response to the pandemic played a big role in showing the rest of the world what surveillance in China is like, including targeting dissidents.
Aynne Kokas VOA
Aynne Kokas, C. K. Yen Professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, reviews two recent books on the intersection of China and Hollywood, the world’s two largest film industries.
Aynne Kokas Los Angeles Review of Books
C. K. Yen Professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center Aynne Kokas on free speech, good governance, and the vast problem of data insecurity on social platforms.
Aynne Kokas The Signal