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  • Research expertise: Internet and platform governance, social media, media manipulation, content moderation, privacy and surveillance, information control, digital security training, Chinese politics, Canada-China relations, Asian diaspora communities and identity politics. 

  • Geographical focus: Asia Pacific with a particular interest in China

  • Academic background: Communications & political science trained

  • Research methods and tools: Open-source intelligence, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis (STATA, SPSS), social media research (NodeXL, Gephi, ForSight)

Book Chapter

"From Within: Improving Canadians' Attitudes Towards China" (Co-authored with Karl Yan), Moving Forward: Issues in Canada-China Relations, 2015, 103-110.

Papers & Op-eds

Intrusive Surveillance After the Coronavirus Pandemic, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Oct 19, 2021

Balancing Reality and Fear: Why An Alarmist Take on Chinese Influence Operations Is Counterproductive, Just Security, Jul 21, 2021

Ruan Lotus, Knockel J, Crete-Nishihata M. Information control by public punishment: The logic of signalling repression in China. China Information. 2021;35(2):133-157. doi:10.1177/0920203X20963010

Jia, Lianrui and Ruan, Lotus (2020) Going Global: Comparing Chinese Mobile Applications’ Data and User Privacy Governance at Home and Abroad. Internet Policy Review, 9(3). DOI:10.14763/2020.3.1502

Ruan, Lotus, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Jeffrey Knockel, Ruohan Xiong, and Jakub Dalek. “The Intermingling of State and Private Companies: Analysing Censorship of the 19th National Communist Party Congress on WeChat.” The China Quarterly, 2020, 1–30. doi:10.1017/S0305741020000491.

We Chat, They Watch How International Users Unwittingly Build up WeChat’s Chinese Censorship Apparatus

Censored Contagion How Information on the Coronavirus is Managed on Chinese Social Media

One App, Two Systems How WeChat uses one censorship policy in China and another internationally

Behind Canadians’ Public Sentiments on China: a Preliminary Social Network Analysis of Twitter-sphere


At the End of History Stands an Authoritarian —— Will the rise of China threaten the liberal world order?


Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Country Report on Kazakhstan 




Policy Briefs

2015 Asia Pacific Policy Project


- initiated ty the Institute of Asian Research & the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia

- focuses on continuing efforts, begun in 2014, to consider the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative application in Mongolia







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