Aynne Kokas

Fast Facts

  • Director, UVA East Asia Center
  • Non-resident scholar, Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program
  • Expertise on U.S.-China relations, cybersecurity, media industry

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Asia
  • Domestic Affairs
  • Media and the Press
  • Science and Technology

Aynne Kokas is the C.K. Yen Professor at the Miller Center, director of UVA's East Asia Center, and a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ research examines Sino-U.S. media and technology relations. Her award-winning book Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty (Oxford University Press, October 2022) argues that exploitative Silicon Valley data governance practices help China build infrastructures for global control. Her award-winning first book Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017) argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the U.S. commercial media industry, most prominently in the case of media conglomerates’ leverage of global commercial brands. 

Kokas is a non-resident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program.

She was a Fulbright Scholar at East China Normal University and has received fellowships from the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Japan’s Abe Fellowship, and other international organizations. Her writing and commentary have appeared globally in more than 50 countries and 15 languages. In the United States, her research and writing appear regularly in media outlets including CNBC, NPR’s MarketplaceThe Washington Post, and Wired. She has testified before the Senate Finance Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Aynne Kokas News Feed

A wide-ranging conversation about how China is shaping the rules of regional and global order. An expert panel considers Isaac Kardon’s new book, 'China’s Law of the Sea: The New Rules of Maritime Order' as a starting point for this conversation. Panelists include Delicia Gonzales Zimmerman, associate professor in the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, and Isaac Kardon, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Aynne Kokas, the Miller Center's C. K. Yen Professor, moderates the conversation.
Aynne Kokas Miller Center Presents
Aynne Kokas, the C.K. Yen Professor at the Miller Center and an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, spoke about her book, "Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty." Kokas explained how the asymmetry in digital regulations between the United States and China, along with practices of private industry, have helped empower Beijing’s broader effort to control digital data.
Aynne Kokas War on the Rocks
Constitutional self-government and authoritarianism are in a worldwide contest—and it is not going well for democracy. Miller Center Faculty Senior Fellow and Taylor Professor of Politics John M. Owen IV engages with experts to discuss open liberal internationalism and what comes next for "The Ecology of Nations," the title of his latest book.
Aynne Kokas, John Owen, Kristen Eichensehr, Eric Edelman Miller Center Presents
Aynne Kokas' award-winning book, "Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty," sheds light on the complex dynamics of data, power, and security in the 21st century.
Aynne Kokas Forbes
In this live webinar discussion convened by UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, experts in history, political science, economics, law, and diplomacy from across the University of Virginia join veteran government practitioners to discuss the array of world crises now challenging American policymakers.
Aynne Kokas, Eric Edelman, Harry Harding, John Owen, Mara Rudman, Phil Potter, Spencer Bakich, Stephen Mull, Syaru Shirley Lin, William Antholis Miller Center Presents
Vietnam has banned Greta Gerwig's "Barbie," set to premiere later this month. In the movie, star Margot Robbie stands in front of a controversial map that reflects China's disputed claim to the South China Sea. And this isn't the first time this issue has caused controversy in Hollywood. Aynne Kokas, author of "Hollywood Made in China," joins us.
Aynne Kokas NPR