Aynne Kokas

Fast Facts

  • Director, UVA East Asia Center
  • Non-resident scholar, Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy
  • Member, 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 a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ research examines Sino-U.S. media and technology relations. Her award-winning 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 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, Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Aynne Kokas News Feed

Vietnam has banned Greta Gerwig's "Barbie," set to premiere later this month. In the movie, star Margot Robbie stands in front of a controversial map that reflects China's disputed claim to the South China Sea. And this isn't the first time this issue has caused controversy in Hollywood. Aynne Kokas, author of "Hollywood Made in China," joins us.
Aynne Kokas NPR
Montana cites privacy risk, malware risk, and misinformation risk, in banning the Chinese-owned video-sharing app. Free speech court challenges are likely.
Aynne Kokas CNN
The Miller Center’s 2023 William and Carol Stevenson Conference examines U.S.–China relations and the role technology plays in this dynamic relationship. Do our technology regulations and security efforts limit our ability to protect our democracy? Panels feature scholars and practitioners with experience in government, the private sector, journalism, and academia, allowing for wide-ranging dialogue on complex issues.
Aynne Kokas Miller Center Presents
Aynne Kokas writes that American tech oversight lags behind other countries.
The Hill
As Congress focuses on what to do about TikTok, leaders in the tech industry have cautioned against a far more expansive risk that has a direct bearing on the role of tech in our daily lives. Data gathered by firms such as TikTok underpin advanced AI tools like the commercially-available GPT-4 large language model (LLM) and support research into next-generation models like GPT-5 and beyond.
Aynne Kokas The Hill
Aynne Kokas, a scholar at the Miller School of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia who studies U.S.-China relations, told this station that U.S. schools must act in accordance with the State Department’s recommendations. “If the blockade or any type of political tension keeps our students stuck in China, we also face potential legal exposure, which is a problem."
Aynne Kokas Radio Free Asia