IAS Intersections

Min Tang

IAS Intersections

From International Student to International Scholar


Min TangMin Tang was an international graduate student in the United Kingdom and United States, and is currently a faculty member in IAS. Her scholarship is also transnational, focusing on the capitalist economic relations and power structures that shape society.

Much of her work examines the interplay of economics, politics and media communications systems, such as the links between venture capital investments, national media policies, and the rise of global internet companies. “Who gets what access, who gets to control the system, and who gets to make those decisions,” asks Tang.

Tang’s 2019 book, Tencent: The Political Economy of China’s Surging Internet Giant, explores these questions through a study of Tencent, one of the global digital giants based in China and the creator of the popular WeChat app. “The rise of Tencent is surprising to many people. It's not that different from the development of Amazon or Facebook or Google here. And they are all intrinsically very transnational,” notes Tang.

Tang then examines communications policies in China that, surprisingly to some, work to open the country's internet industry to global investments. Along with this, there has been a growing scholarly awareness of the dynamics between the transnational communication companies and the geopolitical relations among nations, such as the instance with Huawei and the rollout of 5G technology.

“Huawei’s case is an interesting example for us to understand the power dynamics in global information governance. There's a lot of debates about to what extent and in what ways a particular country should use Huawei technology or not,” says Tang, who argues that there are both ideological and geopolitical battles being played out in these issues.

Working with International Students

As a faculty member in IAS, Tang has been very active in supporting international students. Originally from China, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting and TV Journalism from Fudan University, Tang pursued graduate education as an international student in the United Kingdom and the United States, ultimately earning a doctorate in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In the video segments below, Tang describes her own experiences as international student and some of the ways that she has used her experiences to help international students in IAS.

On Becoming an International Student

In this excerpt, Min Tang talks about her own motivation and preparation to study internationally, in the UK and then in the US, as well as the process of adjusting to and navigating new cultures and geographies.

On Supporting International Students in IAS

In this excerpt Min Tang talks about her experiences collaborating with students, faculty and staff to strengthen teaching and mentorship resources at UW Bothell.