I research and write about US-China Media and Tech Relations
Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and a senior faculty fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. Her multiple-award-winning first book, Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017) argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the US commercial media industry. Her next book project Data Trafficking: The United States, China, and the Global Battle for Data Security examine the policy implications of the transfer of consumer data between the United States and China. Kokas' research has also appeared in Information, Communication, and Society, Journal of Asian Studies, PLOS One, and others. Kokas is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Funding agencies including Fulbright, the Library of Congress, the Social Science Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Abe Fellowship Program and others have supported her research. Kokas’ writing and commentary have appeared in forty-eight countries and eleven languages.
Hollywood Made in China examines how the Chinese market has transformed US commercial media.
*Reviewed and/or featured in media in 48 countries and eleven languages
* Best Non-fiction Title, 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
* Best Academic Title, 2018 Chinese American Librarian Association
* Chinese translation forthcoming with Gingko Press, Beijing
Click here for a video intro to the book courtesy of Chinafile
Commercial and Non-profit Advising
I love sharing my research with students, scholars, journalists, and corporate partners. I am happy to speak over the phone, via Zoom, or in person. Below please find the best ways to reach out.
Drawing from over twenty years of experience in corporate, policy, and academic contexts in the United States and China, I have a consulting practice that serves corporate and commercial clients. If you would like to set up a fee-based Zoom consultation, please sign up here. If you would like to discuss a longer-term project, please email me at email@example.com.
If you are a journalist who would like me to provide expert commentary for a story, please click here to make an appointment. If you are on deadline and need to speak quickly, I can be reached on Twitter @AynneKokas. For background on the Sino-US media collaborations, I can highly recommend my book, this video synopsis of my work, or this short interview about the current state of Sino-US media relations.
If you are a student or colleague who would like to set up a time to discuss our shared research interests, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ping me on Twitter @AynneKokas.
July 9: “Term Member Council Chat: A Summer of Protests: U.S.-China Relations Viewed Through Hong Kong,” Council on Foreign Relations
July 8: “Hollywood Made in China” Department of State Conflict Stabilization
Operations PRC Working Group
May 4: Miller Center for Public Affairs China Conference, Charlottesville, VA
April 25-26: National Committee on US-China Relations Silicon Valley Conference, Palo Alto, CA
April 16-18: Media Industries Conference, London, UK
March 26: Live Testimony in United States Senate Commerce Committee, Security Subcommittee
March 19: United States Department of State Ralph J. Bunche Library Speakers Series, 12-1 pm.
February 11: George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs
CURRENT AND FORMER POSITIONS
Aug 2019 - July 2021
Examining the cybersecurity policy implications of the Sino-US data trade on Japan
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow
September 2019 - August 2020
Examining the cybersecurity policy implications of the Sino-US data trade
Kluge Center, Library of Congress
October 2019 – August 2020
Examining the cybersecurity policy implications of the Sino-US data trade
Council on Foreign Relations
Jun 2016 – Present
Advisory Committee Member, 2019-Present
Member of a program designed to cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders
University of Virginia
Assistant Professor of Media Studies
Aug 2014 – Present
Research, write and teach about collaborations between Chinese and American media and technology corporations
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy -- Rice University
Non-resident Scholar in Chinese Media
Aug 2014 – Present
Conduct policy research on Sino-US media and technology collaborations for Baker Institute China Studies Program
Sign up for My Email List
Contact me for copies
Here I examine how the expanded role of the Chinese market, both in terms of audience size and financing, has both reasserted hegemonic Hollywood genre and talent selection and asserted hegemonic Chinese standards.
Kokas, Aynne. (2019). Producing Global China: The Great Wall and How China’s
Visibility is Changing Representation. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Volume
13, Issue 3. pp. 215-229. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508061.2019.1678485
Here I argue that the competing features that attract commercial capital investment and drive state centralization create a molecular structure of national film investment, or the division of investment in the film industry into several interdependent centers.
Kokas, Aynne. (2019). Serious Chemistry on Set: The Molecular Geography of the Chinese Film Industry. International Journal of Cultural Policy,
Here I argue that the financial interests of US-based online entertainment platforms are magnifying the financial growth of Chinese competitors due to focus by US firms on short-term shareholder value.
Kokas, Aynne. 2018. "Chilling Netflix: financialization, and the influence of the Chinese market on the American entertainment industry." Information, Communication & Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1510534
Popular feature on article: https://investorplace.com/2019/10/china-influence-help-iqiyi-iq-stock/
Here I argue that the financial interests of US-based platforms are amplifying the global impact of Chinese domestic cybersecurity regulations.
Kokas, Aynne. 2018. "Platform Patrol: China, the United States, and the Global Battle for Data Security." Journal of Asian Studies 77 (4):923-933.
Here I argue that the comparative fragmentation of media regulatory power in the US, despite long benefiting Hollywood studios, makes them susceptible to Chinese government efforts to expand media soft power.
Aynne Kokas, “Predicting Volatility Between China and Hollywood: Using Network Management to Understand Sino-US Film Collaboration, Global Media and Communication, Advance Online Publication, https://doi.org/10.1177/1742766518759797
“Freedom Edition”: Considering Sony Pictures and The Interview
Led by Joshua Braun, we convened a dialogue in response to the recent public and media discourse surrounding the security breach at Sony Pictures Entertainment and its film, The Interview focusing on North Korea, cybersecurity, and digital distribution.
Grants and Fellowships
Selected Radio Coverage
I spoke to Marco Werman of PRI's The World on "What happened to Fan Bingbing?"
I discussed Hollywood's inroads into China as a part of "Lights, Camera, Action: China Embraces Hollywood" on SiriusXM's Knowledge@Wharton
Select Print Media Coverage
Pacific Standard lauds Hollywood Made in China for jointly mapping "the business of culture, and the culture of business."
I spoke with NBC News about some of the challenges being posed by China's growing media influence.
In conjunction with other Chinese media scholars, I discuss the long-term prospects for Chinese investment in Hollywood on ChinaFile.
As part of an article by Public Radio International, I explain how China is using its economic leverage to shape Hollywood filmmaking.
Indonesian paper Tirto also quoted me the relationship between China and Hollywood in an article examining its implications for Southeast Asia.
South China Morning Post. “Hollywood Losing China Market to Chinese Films. World Next?,” January 1, 2020.
Yuhas, Alan. “Why ‘Star Wars’ Keeps Bombing in China” New York Times, January 14, 2020.
Pallotta, Frank. “Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Was Supposed to Be a Big Hit in China. The Coronavirus Could Threaten That.” CNN Business, February 13, 2020.
Chen, Phoebe. “What Does Hollywood Lose When It Works With China?” The Nation, March 3, 2020.
Marketplace. “The New Coronavirus Shut down the Chinese Movie Industry,” March 6, 2020.
Zhou, Marrian. “Disney’s China Push Derailed with Delay of ‘Mulan’ Release.” Nikkei Asian Review, March 14, 2020.
Jones, Claire. “OPEC Virtual Summit.” BBC World Service. March 25, 2020
Lee, Elizabeth. “Coronavirus Pandemic Deals Blow to US, China Film Industries.” Voice of America, March 25, 2020.
USA Today. “Foreign Policy Experts Call for End to Hate Crimes against Asian American Community: Readers.” USA TODAY, April 15, 2020.
Zhou, Marrian. Nikkei Asian Review. “When China’s Massive Fan-Economy Goes Wrong.” Accessed May 11, 2020. .
Tang, Jane. “受疫情重创 中国影视业如何自救？.” Radio Free Asia, May 8, 2020.
Ruwitch, John. “Chinese Communist Party Uses Scenes Of Violent Protests In The U.S. For Propaganda.” NPR. June 2, 2020.
The Wilson Center. 50th Episode! Need to Know Podcast, 2020.
Feng, Zhaoyin. “China Takes a Victory Lap over US Protests.” BBC News, June 5, 2020, sec. US & Canada.
Li, Jane. “Academics Fear Using Zoom to Study China—Even in the US.” Quartz.
Lang, Brent, and Elaine Low. “Will Coronavirus Create a Debt Crisis for Movie Theaters?” Variety (blog), July 7, 2020.
Garsd, Jasmine. “Hollywood Gets a Little Boost from China … but It Might Come at a Price.” Marketplace (blog), July 27, 2020.
Keating, Joshua. “TikTok Could Have Been China’s Nintendo.” Slate Magazine, August 1, 2020.
Tager, James. “Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing.” PEN America (blog), August 5, 2020.
Zhou, Marriah. “Hollywood Panned in US for Caving to Chinese Censors.” Nikkei Asian Review, August 8, 2020.
Reid, Whitelaw. “Q&A: TikTok Ban Underscores the Need for Better Data Legislation, Home and Abroad | UVA Today.” UVA Today, August 11, 2020.
TikTok Would Be Significant Liability for Microsoft, Says Media Expert. Bloomberg Technology, 2020.
Zhou, Marriah, and CK Tan. “China Film Industry’s Recovery from Coronavirus off to Slow Start.” Nikkei Asian Review, August 18, 2020.
Kokas, Aynne, and Michael Xiao. “How Distance Learning Could Put Chinese Students at US Universities at Risk.” Webpage. Insights: Scholarly Work at the John W. Kluge Center, August 21, 2020.
Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany. “China Is Censoring Hollywood’s Imagination.” Axios, September 1, 2020.
Kokas, Aynne, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom. “Disney’s Magical Thinking Won’t Keep Politics Away from ‘Mulan.’” Nikkei Asian Review, September 5, 2020.
Kokas, Aynne. “Perspective | ‘Mulan’ Is a Movie about How Much Hollywood Needs China.” Washington Post, September 9, 2020.
Reid, Whitelaw. “The Release of ‘Mulan’ May Be a Transformative Moment in Hollywood History.” UVA Today, September 9, 2020.
Wertime, David. “Death of Trade Deal with China Could Be ‘October Surprise.’” POLITICO, September 10, 2020.
Meet the author and learn more about Hollywood Made in China
July 29, 2018
San Diego, CA
Pacific Arts Movement
(Non-profit arm of San Diego Asian American Film Festival)
May 7 , 2018
1 Chome-104 Totsukamachi
Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8050
May 2 , 2018
Hong Kong, China
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR
The People's Republic of China
April 24, 2018
7:00 - 9:00 pm
921 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
March 18, 2018
12:00 - 1:00 pm
University of Pennsylvania
Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
Center for the Study of Contemporary China
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
February 26, 2018
February 6, 2018
University of Chicago
November 17, 2017
Hollywood Made in China
University of Minnesota
October 26, 2017
October 25, 2017
October 24, 2017
October 12, 2017
Georgetown Institute for Global History
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20057
August 23, 2017
4:15 - 5:15 pm
School of Communication
National University of Singapore
Blk AS6, #03-41
CNM Meeting Room
June 7, 2017
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20230
San Diego, CA
International Communication Association Annual Meeting
May 17, 2017
DACOR Bacon House Foundation Newberry Lecture
April 20, 2017
2-3:20 pm/5-6:20 pm
April 18, 2017
April 12, 2017
Fuqua School of Business
April 7, 2017
March 27, 2017
March 25, 2017
Envisioning Global Media Industries in the Era of China's Rise
Society of Cinema and Media Studies Annual Meeting
Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park
March 18, 2017
Media in Motion: Chinese Creative Content in Global Context
Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting
Willow West, Mezzanine
March 17, 2017
Toronto Film and Media Seminar
TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5, Canada
March 9, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
4:00pm to 5:30 pm
March 8, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
Cinema and Media Studies Colloquium
School of Theater, Film and Television
University of California, Los Angeles
Darren Star Theater
Melnitz Hall 1422
March 7, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
University of Virginia Alumni Entertainment Club of Los Angeles
Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Conference Room 4A
2000 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
March 6, 2017
Kissinger Institute on China and the United States
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004-3027
February 27, 2017
New York, NY
February 7, 2017
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Center for US-China Cooperation
University of Denver
School of International Relations
SIE Complex - 5th Floor - Maglione Hall
2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO 80208
Awards and Recognition
Hollywood Made in China was selected as a finalist for the Montaigne Medal, Eric Hoffer Awards. Less than 3% of 1600 books were selected for the honor.
Hollywood Made in China was reviewed and/or featured in media in 45 countries and ten languages from its publication to the present.
Hollywood Made in China was named Best General Non-Fiction Book at the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Hollywood Made in China was chosen as Best Scholarly Monograph at the Chinese American Librarian Association.
Hollywood in China was a finalist for the Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism & Mass Communication Award.