Nan Ding

Nan Ding

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

English, Mandarin
Key Expertise
Technology and society, Platform studies, Urban social theories, Modernity

About me

Research Topic

Mediated human-space relationship: the entanglement between platform capitalism and urban society in China

Although there are wide attempts in geography literature to unpack the relationship between platforms and urbanism, they mainly focus on platforms’ infrastructural role ontologically, namely, how platforms function as coordinators of urban network. This research, leveraging social constructionism lenes and phenomenological approaches, will investigate how platforms are scaffolding urban life by reconfiguring the knowing, experiencing and imagining of space.

The usage of two widely used urban life information platforms in China will be the focus of this project. One is a crowd-sourced reviewing and ranking platform called Dianping and the other is a social media platform focusing on lifestyle and consumption decision making called Little Red Book.

Inspired by practice theory, this research will explore how different urban dwellers and tourists use these platforms at the level of everyday experience, and critically examine the structural elements that produce and are produced in practices. Analytical attention will be paid to the knowledge production circle and the power relationship beneath it. 

SupervisorsProfessor Nick Couldry and Professor Myria Georgiou


Nan holds an MSc degree in Media and Communications from LSE and a BA (Hons) degree in International Business with Communications from University of Nottingham Ningbo China. She was previously an assistant research fellow in Nottingham University Business School China. Prior to that, Nan has held various roles including qualitative researcher and program manager at market researching company Ipsos.

Expertise Details

Technology and society; Platform studies; Urban social theories; Modernity


  • Chen, Y. (2012, July). The tendency of media social movement in China: A case study of Wenzhou high- speed train crash. Paper presented at the annual conference of Chinese Communication Society, Taichung, Taiwan.

  • Chen, Y. (2016). Invisible stability maintenance: Framing mass incidents in Chinese market-oriented media. Unpublished master’s thesis, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan.