Portrait Yen-Chi Lu
© Yen-Chi Lu

Yen-Chi Lu, MA

Doctoral Student and Research Fellow (Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer)


E-Mail: yenchilu@uni-bonn.de
Address: Römerstraße 164, 53117 Bonn, Germany


Yen-Chi Lu is a research fellow in the research group "Infrastructures of China's Modernity and their Global Constitutive Effects" and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bonn. He studied History at Soochow University (Taiwan) and Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin. He then obtained a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Bonn. From January to June 2021, he led the research project "Surveying Strategic Digital Politics" at the University of Bonn.

Research Interests

International Relations | Global China | Digital Autonomy and Dependence 

Doctoral Project

In his dissertation "Corporate Power and Peripheral Stacks: Chinese ICT Firms and "Smart Infrastructures" in the Periphery", Yen-Chi Lu examines how Chinese ICT companies are reshaping the position of peripheral countries in global value chains. Despite the growing disparities between the technological capabilities of a handful of leading countries and the global 'rest' he argues that collaboration and partnerships with Chinese companies represent a strategic opportunity for the periphery to promote indigenous ICT providers and gain more technological autonomy. The project aims to deepen understanding of the dynamics of the global dependency structure in the digital age and China's role in it.

Research Projects


  • Maximilian Mayer & Yen-Chi Lu: Illusionen der Autonomie? Europas Position in den globalen digitalen Abhängigkeitsstrukturen. SIRIUS – Zeitschrift für Strategische Analysen, Bd. 7, Nr.  4., 2023. @Link
  • Maximilian Mayer & Yen-Chi Lu: Auf dem Weg zur digitalen Selbstbestimmung? Europa hat die Konsequenzen seiner digitalen Abhängigkeit noch kaum erkannt. Berlin: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 2022. @Link

Working Papers

  • Maximilian Mayer & Yen-Chi Lu: Digital Autonomy? Measuring the Global Digital Dependence Structure. Bonn: Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies, 2022. @Link

Conference Papers

  • "Dependency and Shifting Structures of the Global Information Economy”. Paper presented in session 2 “Knowledge and Digital Economy” at the workshop “New conflicts on the horizon? The geoeconomic turn in global trade, investment, and technology”, EWIS 2023, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 12 – 14. July 2023. (Co-authors: Maximilian Mayer and Rogelio Madrueño).
  • “Illusions of Autonomy? Measuring the Global Digital Dependence Structure". Paper presented in the section of “Platform Geopolitics, Digital Sovereignty, and Decentralization” at the 34th Annual SASE Meeting “Fractious Connections: Anarchy, Activism, Coordination, and Control”, held by the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 9-11. July 2022. (Co-author: Maximilian Mayer).
  • “Infrastructures and autonomy: digital technologies and global structures of dependence”. Paper presented in the virtual panel of “The Missing Mass: Infrastructure and World Politics Panel II” at the ISA 2022 Annual Convention “A Wider Discipline For A Smaller World”, Nashville, USA, March 28th -April 2nd, 2022. (Co-author: Maximilian Mayer).

Media Contributions

  • Not potato chips, but (micro)chips: How can Malaysia overcome its digital dependence and achieve industrial transformation? (要晶片不要薯片,大马如何摆脱数位依赖实现工业转型?) BFM| 29 September 2023, @Link.
  • Don’t overestimate the impact of China’s Digital Silk Road (莫高估中國推數位發展成效) CAN | 21 September 2023, @Link.


  • Speaker: “Introduction of Digital Dependence Index: how Sovereign are national states in the Digital era?”, 26th Network Consolidation Program -- Digital Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities in an Interconnected World, hosted by Diplomacy by Networking, Foreign Service Academy, Foreign Service Office (Germany), 25.04.2023.
  • Speaker: "Digital Dependence Index", KAS-BDI Roundtable 2023, Multilateral Dialogue Geneva | Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 24 February, 2023, Geneva. (Co-speaker: Maximilian Mayer)
  • Speaker: “Zur strategischen Gestaltung digitaler Abhängigkeit“, Ein Globalisierungsmodell für das digitale Zeitalter:
    Ein Frühstücksgespräch, Akademie der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin, 22. June 2022, Berlin. (Co-speaker: Maximilian Mayer)
  • Speaker: "Results from the 2020 Data Fragmentation Index: Emerging Pattern within the Landscape of Data Regulations", International Online-Conference „Digital Fragmentations and Digital Sovereignty “, 18. September 2021, Bonn.
  • Speaker: “Digitale Dependenz - Ein neuer Index”, Wissenssalon – Der wissenschaftliche Flurfunk, Gemeinsame Veranstaltung von CGS und CASSIS (Universität Bonn), 29. April 2021, Bonn.
  • Speaker: “Einführung in den neuen Digitalen Dependenz-Index”, Online-Workshop mit der Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung, 16. März 2021, Bonn.
  • Speaker: „Das Internet als Bedrohung für Autokraten. Das Beispiel China“, Workshop „Cyber-Sicherheitskonzepte im internationalen Vergleich“, BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conversion), 23. Mai 2019, Bonn.


  • The Rise of the Periphery? Technological Cooperation between China and Countries in the Periphery, Undergraduate Seminar (Summer Semester 2023)

Last updated: 23 January, 2023

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