Pu Yan is a second-year PhD candidate at Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Her doctoral research focuses on the influence of the emerging ICTs on everyday information practices in rural China and employs a mixed methods approach that combines big data research and ethnographic study into the study of human information practices. In her 15-month fieldwork in a village and a factory in Middle China, she explored the adoption and domestication of ICTs in developing areas and studied how the Internet has influenced information-seeking in everyday life.

Before joining the Oxford Internet Institute, she obtained an undergraduate degree (Honour) in Journalism and Communication from Tsinghua University in 2014, and a master’s degree (Distinction) in Social Science of the Internet from Oxford Internet Institute in 2015. During her undergraduate years, Pu worked as interns for several Chinese newspapers, including Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, and Ta Kung Pao. Her previous research focused on the influence of ICTs on Chinese rural migrant workers under the background of Chinese urbanisation process. She also conducted studies on social media and hyper-social youth in urban China and on the impact of the resettlement policies on rural residents after South-to-North Water Diversion Project. In her master thesis, Pu used a natural language processing approach to explore online discourses on Chinese “social connections” (Guanxi) and took a comparative approach to examine the perception of guanxi culture in Mainland China and Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Research interests

ICT4D; Chinese Internet; everyday use of the Internet; social media; semantic network analysis

Positions held at the OII

  • DPhil student, October 2015 –
  • MSc student, October 2014 – September 2015

Conference papers

  • YAN, P.U. (2019) "Pulling, encountering or through proxies? Everyday life information seeking and the use of the Internet in China", 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference, “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”. Chinese Internet Research Conference.
  • YAN, P.U. (2019) Digital divide in the adoption and use of the Internet in everyday life: Comparative study in rural and urban Middle China. the 69th Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Washington D.C., USA, 24 – 28 May 2019.
  • Yan, P. (2019) "Information Bridges: Understanding the Informational Role of Network Brokerages in Polarised Online Discourses", Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)Lecture Notes on Computer Science. iConference. Springer International Publishing. 11420 LNCS 377-388.

Journal articles