Dr David Feng

SONY DSCDavid Feng BEc MA DA / PhD is an Academic Visitor at the China Media Centre and also Lecturer at the Communication University of China. He was also previously Lecturer and Foreign Expert at Hebei University.

David has been through a unique upbringing in both Europe and Asia, and sees issues from both perspectives. Born in Beijing, he has also spent 12 years in Switzerland. He comes to the China Media Centre after 14 years in China. By nationality he is Swiss.

At the China Media Centre, David’s research is centred upon media in China, in particular social media in the country. His scope of research focuses especially on newer developments in social media in China (Weibo, WeChat), how developments link to social developments, and also on how each side sees the other side’s social media, debunking “truthiness” and misconceptions.

In 1996, David set up his first website. In 2004, he began MA studies in broadcasting, presenting, and linguistics with Prof Lu Jing, a former announcer of China’s 7 o’clock flagship news programme, with research done in comparing prime-time programming in China and selected Western countries. In 2007, David started tweeting and began his presence on Facebook. His active participation in social media and events related to this lead to his PhD in Communication at the Communication University of China, which was completed under the guidance of Prof Hu Zhengrong, an eminent China media scholar. Upon graduation in 2012 he became Lecturer at the same university, teaching students media, but also international culture, all in English. In both 2013 and 2014, David also lectured at Hebei University to international students in both English and French on an introductory analysis course about the media (in general) in China. In those years, David also got to know the PR of Chinese organisations in transition better.

David is active in social media both in China and on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This activity led him to grow interest on the matter and forms the main foundation for his academic research. At the China Media Centre, he’s interested in comparing the perceptions, pre-assumptions, and uses of social media, both amongst Chinese audiences in China, and non-Chinese audiences in the UK.

He has also been actively involved in “real world” media. In 2004, David hosted English-language bulletins on university radio. Since then, he has been involved mostly with Radio Beijing (for nearly a decade), first as translator and voiceover artist, then ultimately being involved in not just co-hosting shows, but also in completely conceptualising a new show in 2013, focusing mainly on English in China and on informing a China-based audience about English and the Anglosphere. In and around 2006, David and the Mac user group he used to head experimented with both audio and video podcasts, at a time when this was still a new addition to iTunes. He has also authored, translated and proofread books on both technology and English.

He has blogged since late 2005; he has blogged independently and previously with other China-based English-language blogs, including CNReviews and Tech in Asia. David and has also been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, Xinhua, Chinese Central Television and many other media organisations. From 2007 to 2010 he also blogged, at times nearly daily, at City Weekend Beijing, in his “Beijingology” blog about the city of Beijing and its infrastructural developments. In early 2014 David and wife Tracy were actively involved in the Inaugural Sino-British Television Programme Innovation Management Summit. The event, emceed by David and others, took place in Xiamen, China, and featured key players in both China and UK media.

David has also been featured in publications. In late 2013, a new book on communications media was published in Chinese and included David’s articles about trends and developments of social media in that country. He is also an active speaker, having spoken at Chinese Blogger Conferences and at TEDx events, about social media and China.


David can be contacted by email or via social media.