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Sociology Research


Hong Yu Liu's doctoral research project investigated the impact of new technology on work conditions and industrial relations in China’s internet industry.

During his doctoral study, Hong Yu worked with Dr Bill Taylor (City University of Hong Kong) and his colleagues on a HK government-funded research project investigating the new unionism in Hong Kong (2020), and with the Childcare during COVID-19 research team at the Leeds University Business School as a Research Fellow (2022). Currently, he is working with Prof. Dimitra Petrakaki (Sussex University Business School) and her colleagues on two research projects looking at the use of digital platforms in the healthcare sector and how crowdfunding creates challenges and opportunities for creative workers.

Hong Yu is particularly honoured to receive the Marie Jahoda Visiting Fellowship from Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit), University of Sussex. He is also the awardee of the SUPRA Nordic scholarship, presented by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. He was a visiting scholar invited by the Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong in 2020.

Hong Yu passed his PhD viva in August, 2022.

Research Interests

Current research interests: Sociology of work, work and technology, digital labour, industrial relations, the future of work.

Hong Yu previously researched ethnic minorities and their postcolonial identity struggles in Hong Kong as part of the "Capstone project" for his Master's degree at The University of Hong Kong.

Research Projects

Engaging patients to self-care through platforms; Employed by the crowd: challenges and opportunities for the creative industry (Current) PI: Prof. Dimitra Petrakaki (Sussex University Business School)

Childcare during COVID-19 (2022) PI: Dr Kate Hardy, Leeds University Business Schoo

Health and Well-Being Challenges and Interventions for Informal Waste-Pickers (2021) PI: Dr Crystal Kwan, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong Job Quality Survey 2020 (Principal Investigator)

New Unions as Old Binaries or New Directions, funded by the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office, Hong Kong Government (2020) PI: Dr Bill Taylor, City University of Hong Kong.

Hong Yu was also a research assistant for Dr Stuart Hogarth for his CancerScreen project (2019). Previously he worked for Dr Tommy Tse (University of Hong Kong) for his research, titled “Creative Industries in Flux: A Critical Investigation into the Challenges, Agency and Potential of Cultural and Creative Workers in Hong Kong” (2016-2017).


Undergraduate Supervisor, University of Cambridge (current):

SOC5 Statistics and Methods

SOC7 Media, Culture and Society

SOC9 Global Capitalism


Part-time Lecturer, College of International Education, HKBU (2021):

FCVM1400 Buying or Dying? Media, Consumption and the Making of Self

FCHC1400 Changing Hong Kong through Changing Media

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Liu, HY (2021) ‘Moderating the world in a global pandemic: In conversation with Professor Sarah Roberts’, in Wahal, E (ed.) Unboxing AI. Milano: Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Liu, HY (2022) ‘When nobody listens, go online’: The ‘807’ labour movement against workplace sexism in China’s tech industry. Gender, Work and Organization. [OnlineFirst] DOI: 10.1111/gwao.12859.

Liu, HY (2022) Digital Taylorism in China’s e-commerce industry: A case study of internet professionals. Economic and Industrial Democracy. [OnlineFirst] DOI: 10.1177/0143831X211068887

Liu, HY (2021) The Politics of unionisation in Hong Kong: An interview with Dr Bill Taylor. Global Labour Journal 12(3): 325–331.

Liu, HY (2021) Reflections on conducting fieldwork under digital surveillance: Investigating the labour politics of China’s tech industry. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 52(1): 152–162.

Liu, HY (2021) South Asians in “Asia’s World City”: Post-Colonial Identity Struggles and Artistic Self-Representation in Hong Kong. Culture and Local Governance 7(1-2): 1–16.

Liu, HY (2019) (In)visible locales: Art spaces within marginalized communities in post-colonial Hong Kong. Kunstlicht 40(3): 66–75.

Key Publications - Other

Liu, HY (forthcoming) Book Review: Positive non-intervention: the old China hands in the British Hong Kong government. Hong Kong Journal of Social Science. [In CHN]

Liu, HY (2022) Book review: Martial Arts Cinema and Hong Kong Modernity: Aesthetics, Representation, Circulation. Global Media and China. [Online First] DOI: 10.1177/20594364221081323.

Liu, HY (2021) Book review: Invisible Labour: Support Service Workers in India’s Information Technology Industry. British Journal of Industrial Relations 59(4): 1159–1160

Liu, HY (2021) Book Review Essay: Tech Titans of China, How China’s Tech Sector is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder & Going Global. The China Review 21(1): 235-237.

Liu, HY (2020) Book Review: The state and labourers in China. Hong Kong Journal of Social Science 55(2020): 153–157. [In CHN]

Liu, HY (2019) Book Review: The Disappearing Product: Marketing and Markets in the Creative Industries. International Journal of Cultural Policy 25(4): 543–545.

Liu, Hong Yu. (forthcoming) There is a robot doing my job! Am I doomed? Digit Blog, Digital Futures at Work Research Centre. [Winner of the Digit Blog Writing Competition

Liu, Hong Yu. (2019). Migrant workers in the digital market: China’s platform economy. Asia Dialogue, University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute

Grants and Projects

Chinese translation of "Alienation Is Not ‘Bullshit’: An Empirical Critique of Graeber’s Theory of BS Jobs." by Soffia, M, Wood, A and Burchell, B (Work, Employment and Society, 2021.)

“The State of the Hong Kong Labor Movement”, Nordic Asia Podcast Available at: (2 July, 2021)

"The disbandment of Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy union coalition in 2021"
at the Philomathia Social Science Research Symposium, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge (29 June – 1 July 2022)

PhD Supervisor

Prof Brendan Burchell

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations


Trinity Hall Research Grants (2021, 2022)

Marie Jahoda Visiting Fellowship (2021), Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit), University of Sussex.

SUPRA Nordic Scholarship (2021), Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Fieldwork Research Fund, Department of Sociology (2019)

Job Title:
PhD Candidate, Trinity Hall
Contact Information: