Prof. Dr. Kristin Shi-Kupfer

Motto: "Mostly I like to see how the world works. Meet people. Learn how they're different - and the same" ~ Angus MacGyver, TV-Serie "MacGyver"


1994-2001: Studies of Sinology and Political Science at the University of Trier, Fudan University Shanghai and Henan University, PR China.
Dissertation (2009) on the topic: "Emergence and development of spiritual-religious groups in the PR China after 1978" (Ruhr-University Bochum).
2007-2011: China correspondent for Profil, epd and Zeit online, among others, in Beijing, PR China
2013-2020 Head of the research area Politics, Society and Media at the Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies, Berlin.

Prof. Shi-Kupfer is a Senior Associate Fellow at MERICS, a member of the Sino-German Expert Group on Digital Business Models of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and a member of the Just Peace WG of the German Commission Justitia et Pax . She is also a mentor in the university mentoring program.

Research Interests

Contemporary politics and society of China, especially China's digital development, social groups and digital media; media and media policy; human rights and religion (especially Christianity)

Current research project: China Spectrum - analyzing intra-Chinese debates (together with the Berlin-based think tank MERICS), funded by the Friedrich.Naumann-Stiftung (2022-2023). Further information here


Publications (current selection)

Vom Flachliegen und Weitermachen. in: Internationale Politik, November 2022, Ausgabe 6.

(together with Yishu Mao). Online public discourse on artificial intelligence and ethics in China: context, content, and implications. in: AI & Soc (2021).

(together with Christian Soffel). Das Ende der Naivität. Wie China den Westen herausfordert. in: Internationale Politik Spezial, Mai 2021, Ausgabe 3.

(together with Rebecca Arcesati et al). Chinas digitale Plattformökonomie: Eine Bestandsaufnahme im Kontext von Industrie 4.0 Herausforderungen und Chancen für deutsche Akteure. MERICS Report. Mai 2020.

"Meinungsmacht und Meinungsmacher –wie Chinas Regierung und Bevölkerung um Einfluss in Sozialen Medien ringen" in: Totalitarismus und Demokratie, Herbst 2019, Band 16, Ausgabe 2. 

(together with Mareike Ohlberg). Chinas Digital Rise. Challenges for Europe. MERICS Paper on China, No. 7. April 2020. 

"Social Fabric: Managing State-Society Relations”, in: Chinese Futures: Horizon 2025, Institute for Security Studies, European Union, Report No. 35 (July 2017), pp. 19-27.

(together with Mareike Ohlberg et al). Ideas and Ideologies Competing for China's Political Future. How Online Pluralism Challenges Official Orthodoxy, MERICS Papers on China No. 5, Oktober 2017. 

Media presence (selected current articles)

Kristin Shi-Kupfer – Christian and China observer. in: Table China (May 2022)

Chinas Corona-Politik scheitert- Null-Covid-Illusion: Hunger statt Arbeit. in: ZDF Panorama (8. Mai 2022)

ZDF heute journal (3. Februar 2022)

HR Inforadio, Themen u.a.: Ein Monat bis Olympia in Peking (Januar 2022)

Tagesthemen ab 3:27 (2.8.2022)

Wie Kultur-sensibel sollte Diplomatie sein? in: RBB Kultur (3. August 2022)

Schulterklopfen für Taiwan: War es das wert? in: WDR 5 Tagesgespräch (4. August 2022)