You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Archive for the 'China' Category

Hong Kong Conversations: Digital Natives, Media Literacy, Rights and Responsibilities


Today in Hong Kong, I’ve had the pleasure to catch up with some of my colleagues and friends who are living and working in Asia. The conversation with Rebecca MacKinnon, my former Berkman fellow Fellow and now assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Center, resonates in particular. We touched upon several themes and topics in which we share an interest, ranging from Chinese culture, U.S. foreign politics, to corporate social responsibility, among many others. We then started talking about the digital natives project(s), and youth and new media research questions (Rebecca actually teaches “new media” at HKU). Starting from different places and looking from different perspectives, we concluded that two (related) sets of question will likely end up being on our shared research agenda for the months to come.

  • First, media literacy and education of digital natives. While media education in the digital environment has become an important topic especially in the U.K. through the work of Ofcom and experts like Professor David Buckingham and Professor Sonia Livingstone, it’s still in its infancy in many other parts of the world. From all I’ve learned now in the context of our digital native project – and from what I know about the current state of neuroscience with regard to cognitive and emotional development – its seems crucial to start with media education at pre-school or primary school level at latest. If anyone has pointers to good web resources, case studies and/or curricula in this area, please drop me a note.
  • Second, users rights and responsibilities in the digital environment. This issue is obviously related to the first one and concerns the question as to what extent our societies do provide mechanisms to have a discourse about our rights, but also responsibilities (and that’s where it gets tricky from a political perspective) as empowered users in the digitally networked environment. While great work has been done with regard to the “rights”-part of the discussion – largely driven by NGOs and consumer protection organizations (see here for a recent example) – we may need to figure out in the near future how to address also the question of the new responsibilities as “speakers” that are associated with the fundamental shift from passive consumers to active users. Interestingly, the role of citizens as producers of information has reportedly been addressed in a (if I recall correctly: still unpublished) draft of an information freedom act in an Eastern European country. Legislation, however, is most likely not the right starting place for such a discussion, I would argue.

In short, more food for thought – and additional research tasks for our digital native team. (Thanks, Rebecca, for a great conversation.)

Entering Collaboration with Fudan University, Shanghai


I’m currently in Shanghai, the most vibrant city I’ve ever visited. In my role as the Academic Coordinator of the University of St. Gallen’s Executive Master of Business Law (MBL-HSG) Program, I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve entered collaboration with the Fudan University here in Shanghai.

From September 3 to September 8, a group of 40 students of the MBL Program and 30 alumni will be visiting Shanghai and studying at Fudan. Allen Chan, Managing Director of LGT Investment Management (Asia) Ltd. and Senior Financial Consultant to the President of Fudan University, and an old high school friend, Nathan Kaiser, partner of Shanghai and Taipei-based law office Wenfei, have helped me to put together an interesting curriculum and a wonderful line-up of speakers. The goal of the Shanghai Module is to offer our students an introduction to “Law and Business in China”.

We will start with an introduction to Chinese culture and business culture, an overview of Chinese economy (past and present), and an introduction to the Chinese legal system. We will then focus on certain hot topics at the intersection of law, business, and economy, including WTO accession, IP Law, arbitration and litigation, corporate law and corporate governance, and taxation, among others. Our lecturers will include professors from Fudan University’s School of Management and Law Faculty, partners with local and international law firms, accountant companies, as well as inhouse counsels of multinational companies in China.

In addition to lectures and in-class discussions, we also organize field trips and informal dinners with practionners. We will be visiting the production facilities of Georg Fischer Automative, a Swiss manufacturer with 1800 employees in China and among the first companies with extensive (and successful) Joint Venture experience in China. We are also working on a field trip to Intel, where the General Counsel Asia will give us his take on IP law issues.

Among our special guests are Professor Anna Wu, former Head of the Equal Opportunity Office in Hong Kong, William Frei, Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai, and Dr. Hans J. Roth, Consul General of Switzerland in Hong Kong. Lecturers include Michelle Gon, Parter with Baker & McKenzie, Daniel Fink, the Georg Fischer Delegate of the Corporate CEO in China, Regula Hwang, Credit Suisse, and Intel’s Chen Gong. Professor Carl Baudenbacher, president of the EFTA COURT in Luxembourg, will lead the Swiss delegation.

Log in