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Strategic Digital Communication and China


Admission requirements

This course is exclusively for students of the Minor Disinformation and Strategic Communication in Global Media. For this course, no language skills other than English are required to work with the study materials.


The regional electives in block 1 and 2 focus on information dissemination and power structures in local media landscapes.

This regional elective introduces students to the role that misinformation and disinformation play in Chinese-language media ecologies, specifically in strategic communication in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It also examines the influence of China in misinformation and disinformation in other contexts, for instance how the spectre of China and Chineseness are a part of textual and visual misinformation and disinformation campaigns that are both pro- and anti-PRC.

In the Chinese-language sphere, the PRC maintains a carefully managed media environment, in which corporations, state agencies, and party institutions control content and push propaganda statements. At the same time, diverse actors ranging from fan groups to activists carve out their own spaces within that environment, often challenging dominant state narratives, but also at times colliding with each other in the construction of their own personal and communal truths.

Meanwhile, the party and state also engage in an extensive campaign to ‘tell China’s stories well’ abroad, which entails a range of communication strategies, from overt ‘white’ propaganda that informs foreign audiences of official positions to ‘black’ campaigns meant to obfuscate, distract, and seed doubt in other societies, for instance in Taiwan and with English-language YouTubers.

Finally, outside of the PRC, the idea of China and Chineseness is used by a range of actors and institutions in strategic communications, including textual and visual anti-China rhetoric from politicians, religious organisations, and media organisations.

By examining these multi-dimensional processes, participants in this seminar will explore how digital technology, information, and politics hang together in China-focused communication and media.

Course objectives

Participants in this course will acquire the following:

  • An understanding of theories dealing with political communication processes.

  • An indepth understanding of disinformation processes in the Chinese context.

  • The ability to relate media content and its information to production, distribution, and reception processes in the Chinese-speaking world.

  • The ability to critically reflect on issues related to misinformation and disinformation more broadly, before the backdrop of local practices and cases from China.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar.

Assessment method

Assessment and Weighing

  • Regular course assignments and oral participation: 40%

  • Final paper: 60%

Regular, punctual attendance, thorough preparation of the reading materials, and continuous participation in plenary discussions are also expected.

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than one tutorial means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.

End Grade

To complete the final mark, both the weighted average as well as the grade for the final paper must be >5,5.


A resit is only possible for a failed final paper.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2022 – 2023.

Exam review and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

The general required reading will be announced throughout the course.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal.


Not applicable.