Department of Media and Communication Center for Communication Research

New Media and Technology

Coordinator: Prof. Yu-li LIU
Members: Dr. DAI Yue, Prof. NAH Fui-Hoon Fiona, Dr. KIM Ki Joon, Dr. LIANG Limin, Dr. LIN Fen, Prof. LIU Yu-li, Dr. WANG Xiaohui, Dr. WANG Yuan.

Keywords: New Media, Technology, big data, AI, media management, telecom policy, ethics and governance, business model


The cluster focuses on new media and technology related issues. We explore the social, cultural, economic, legal, ethical and organizational implications of new media and technology. We also examine impression formation and relationship development with or through technology. The research interests of the members include the effects of new media, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), media management, and telecom policy, etc.

Research Areas

  • Technology and Culture: The Role of Technology in Media Events/Rituals

    Our research interests are with the aesthetics of digital cultural forms and their social implications. We explore the interstice between material culture and new media culture, and how new technologies reshape boundaries between information and entertainment. Our recent projects focus on 1) the role of new media technologies in the production and reception of media events/rituals and implications for symbolic politics; 2) how social media impact truth-finding and transform journalism culture; 3) Vlogging and youth subculture.

  • Innovation and Governance: The Legal and Ethical Boundary of Technology

    Our research interests include diffusion of innovation, AI governance, media and technology  litigations, politics of algorithm, and ethics of technology. Our recent projects focus on 1) how various societal factors shape the diffusion of technological and policy innovation;  2) the legal, ethical and policy challenges of AI; 3) the impacts of technology on China’s information regime and authoritarian governance.

  • AI application and privacy concerns: Comparing users’ perceptions of AI chatbots and human agents

    In expanding the existing scholarship regarding human-robot interaction, our project cross-culturally explores users’ privacy concerns with regard to two types of chatbots, namely, task-oriented and companion-oriented chatbots and their different impacts on people’s usage intentions. It also examines users’ perceived trust in the expertise, reputation, or technology of chatbots and their intentions in using chatbots and human agents. In delineating the notions of perceived trust and privacy concerns, this study aims to extend research in the field of human-machine communication along with the societal implications.

  • Impression Formation in Mediated Communication Environments

    Our research examines impression formation, relationship development, social support, and social influence processes that either take place in mediated communication environments or involve the use of technology. The specific themes of our studies include: (1) how individuals vicariously experience an interaction from observing others’ interactions online, (2) how individuals’ impressions of others in Web 2.0 environments influence the persuasion outcomes of user-generated content, and (3) how individuals form impressions of interactive technology such as AI and whether it can be used to induce positive communication outcomes, such as providing social support to those with mental health issues.

  • Sociopsychological Antecedents and Consequences of Human–Technology Interaction

    We examine how various technological affordances present in digital technology influence the behavioural, social, psychological outcomes of technology–mediated communication. We also develop theoretical paradigms in which human interactions with the latest pervasive technology, such as the Internet of Things, wearable devices, and autonomous vehicles, are perceived as socially meaningful and persuasive.

  • The Strategic Role of New Media in Public Relations

    Our studies examine the effects of publics’ engagement with organizations on social media and mobile phones on their relational satisfaction, organizational identification, and word-of-mouth communication. We also investigate how organization-public relationships influence the public’s social media communication behaviors. In addition to studying the relationships between organizations and their publics, we explore the cross-sector relationships between international non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations on social media and identify the predictors of the relationships.

  • Information consumption on social media

    Our research interests include individuals’ information consumption behavior on social media, which include but not limited to the information need, information scanning, information seeking, information processing, information sharing, and information avoidance. Our recent projects focus on 1) the diffusion and social impact of health misinformation on social media; 2) diving factors of misinformation sharing; 3) the effect of negative emotions on information diffusion and public reactions.

  • Adoption and Efficacy of New and Emerging Technology

    New technologies, such as Internet of Things, wearable devices, blockchain, virtual reality, machine learning, and autonomous vehicles, bring new potential and challenges in application and adoption. We need to design new and emerging technology with these issues in mind to facilitate user adoption and maximize the value of their applications. With a better understanding of the challenges posed by new and emerging technology as well as their potential solutions, greater value in their applications can be facilitated.

Key Publications:

Nah, F., Eschenbrenner, B., & DeWester, D. (2011). “Enhancing brand equity through flow and telepresence: A comparison of 2D and 3D virtual worlds,” MIS Quarterly, 35(3), 731-747.

Kim, K. J. (2016). Interacting socially with the Internet of Things (IoT): Effects of source attribution and specialization in human–IoT interaction. Journal of Computer–Mediated Communication, 21(6), 420-435.

Dai, Y. (Nancy), & Shi, J. (2022). Vicarious interactions in online support communities: The roles of visual anonymity and social identification. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 27(3), zmac006.

Liu, Y.L., Yan, W. & Hu, B. (June, 2021). Resistance to Facial Recognition Payment in China: The Influence of Privacy-related Factors. Telecommunications Policy. 45(5), 102155.

Lin, F. (2019). The discursive paradox of AI criticism. International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine, 17(2), 133-137.

Liang, L. (Forthcoming). Consuming the pastoral desire: Li Ziqi, food vlogging and the structure of feeling in the era of microcelebrity. Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Image, 1(2).

Wang, Y. (2020). When relationships meet situations: Exploring the antecedents of employee communication behaviors on social media. Social Science Computer Review. Advanced online publication.

Wang, X. & Song, Y. (2020). Viral misinformation and echo chambers: the diffusion of rumors about genetically modified organisms on social media. Internet Research, 30, 1547-1564.