Xiao Qiang

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Xiao Qiang
Chinese: 萧强
Future Affairs Berlin 2019 - „Digital Revolution Resetting Global Power Politics?“ (47959586318).jpg
Born (1961-11-19) 19 November 1961 (age 59)

Xiao Qiang (Chinese: 萧强; pinyin: Xiāo Qiáng) is the Director and Research Scientist of the Counter-Power Lab, an interdisciplinary faculty-student research group focusing on digital rights and internet freedom, based in the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley.[1] Xiao is an adjunct professor at the School of Information (2012 – present) and the Graduate School of Journalism (2003 - 2011), at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times, a bilingual China news website (2003 - present).

Xiao teaches classes Digital Activism, Internet Freedom and Blogging China at both the School of Information and the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley. In fall 2003, Xiao launched China Digital Times to explore how to apply cutting edge technologies to aggregate, contextualize and translate online information from and about China.[2] His current research focuses on state censorship, propaganda and disinformation, as well as emerging big data and AI-empowered state surveillance mechanisms in China.[3]


A theoretical physicist by training, he studied at the University of Science and Technology of China and entered the PhD program (1986–1989) in Astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame. He became a full-time human rights activist after the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989.[4] Xiao was the executive director of the New York-based organization Human Rights in China from 1991 to 2002 and vice-chairman of the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy.


Xiao is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, and is profiled in the book "Soul Purpose: 40 People Who Are Changing the World for the Better" (Melcher Media, 2003). He was also a visiting fellow of the Santa Fe Institute in Spring, 2002.

In January 2015, Xiao has been named to Foreign Policy magazine's Pacific Power Index, a list of "50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship." He was named on the list "for taking on China's Great Firewall of censorship."[5]


  1. ^ MacArthur Fellow Biography
  2. ^ Website chronicles China’s massive effort to control Internet content
  3. ^ Qiang, Xiao. "The Road to Digital Unfreedom:The Road to Digital Unfreedom: President Xi’s Surveillance State." Journal of Democracy, no. 1 (2019): 53-67.
  4. ^ "Interviews - Xiao Qiang | The Tank Man | FRONTLINE". PBS. 11 April 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  5. ^ "The Pacific Power Index". pacificpower.foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

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