(MIS)INFORMATION, (DIS)TRUST AND CHINESE INFLUENCE IN AUSTRALIA
WeChat is the primary social media platform in China, but is used around the world by Chinese living abroad. In Australia, people have become concerned that the platform might be used by the Chinese government to try and influence Australia’s upcoming federal election.
Discussions about this topic are emotionally charged and tend to portray the situation as a ‘dangerous’ development in the story of China’s influence in politics in Australia.
In this talk, Fan Yang will unpack how WeChat operates and is used in Australia, and the types of content Chinese-Australians consume on the platform. She will delve into the platform’s policies and revenue model, and the dynamics of content production and distribution on WeChat, asking how (mis)information is being used and (dis)trust propagated, and what implications this has for our understanding of foreign influence in Australian politics.