Zhicong Chen

Zhicong Chen

Ph.D. Student in Computational Social Science

Web Mining Lab

City University of Hong Kong


I’m currently a fourth-year Ph.D. student in computational social science at Web Mining Lab and Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, under the supervision of Dr. Xiaofan Liu and Prof. Jonathan J. H. Zhu.

My Ph.D. dissertation examines the diffusion process, user sustainability, and social impacts of anonymous communication technologies (e.g. The Tor Network, commonly known as the Dark Web) using quantitative and computational methods.

Before coming to Hong Kong, I was deeply attracted by computational social science when I was an undergraduate in 2015, since when I started to study social sciences.

Download my CV (in Chinese).

  • Computational Social Science
  • Diffusion of Innovations
  • Media User Analytics
  • Media Technology and Society
  • Cultural and Social Change
  • Ph.D. in Communication, 2022 (Expected)

    City University of Hong Kong

  • Master in Communication, 2018

    Nanjing University

  • BEng in Software Engineering, 2016

    Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications


Journal Publications

Working Papers

  • Zhicong Chen, Xiao-Fan Liu. Why Do Users Leave Anonymous Online Communities? An Exploratory Study of the Silk Road Forum on the Dark Web. Paper presented at the 71st Annual Conference of International Communication Association (ICA 2021), Denver, Colorado, USA (Virtual).

  • Zhicong Chen, Xiang Meng, Wenting Yu. Depolarization in the rise of far-right platforms? : A moderated mediation model on political identity, misinformation belief and voting behavior in the 2020 US Presidential Election. Paper presented at 2021 Conference of International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR 2021), Nairobi, Kenya (Virtual).

Preprint Manuscripts

  • Xiao-Fan Liu, Zhicong Chen, Jonathan J. H. Zhu. Dynamic Trends between Specialization and Integration of Communication Research: Scientometric Analysis of SSCI Journals from 1970 to 2019. Paper presented at the 70th Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA 2020), Gold Coast, Australia (Virtual).

  • Zhicong Chen, Lingfei Wu, Naipeng Chao, Cheng-Jun Wang. The Poor Read for Entertainment and the Rich Read for Education: Poverty, Fragmentation, and Knowledge Homogeneity. Paper presented on the 4th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2 2018), Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States.

  • Huimin Xu, Zhicong Chen, Cheng-Jun Wang. Social Classes Shapes Our Trajectories in Both Online and Offline Space. Paper presented on the 4th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2 2018), Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States.


Oustanding Research Paper Awards Scheme
Research Tuition Scholarship
Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme



6 years

Quantitative Social Research

6 years


6 years


3 years


6 years


6 years


  • Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR