SemesterFall Semester, 2023
DepartmentJunior Class A, Department of Public Finance Junior Class B, Department of Public Finance Senior Class A, Department of Public Finance Senior Class B, Department of Public Finance
Course NameGlobal Digital Divide: Big Tech, Inequality, and Polarization
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Schedule of Classes

Introduction: The Rise of Big Tech Around the World

September 13: Introduction - The Rise of Big Tech

                        Session 1: Introduction to Course / Meet Your Professors

                        Session 2: Survey - What Do We Think?

September 20: The Digital Divide - A Tech Cold War Between the U.S and China

                        Prep Before Class: Bain Technology Report 2022; SCMP China Internet Report 2022

                        Session 3: Reading Discussion

                        Session 4: Understanding the Technology Cold War

Silicon Valley and China’s Business Culture and Approach to Global Growth

September 27: The View from Silicon Valley and its Quest for Monopoly Power

                        Prep Before Class: Zero to One by Peter Thiel

                        Session 5: Reading Discussion

                        Session 6: Applying Business Concepts to Technology

October 4: Building a Global Internet Platform at Scale

                  Prep Before Class: Amazon Shareholder Letter 2020+1997; Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos


                 Session 7: Reading Discussion

                 Session 8: The Power of Scale in the Digital Economy

October 11: How China’s Internet Leaders See the World

                    Prep Before Class: Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark or Crocodile in the Yangtze


                    Session 9: Reading Discussion

                    Session 10: Guest Interview - Shirley Lin, first Alibaba investor

October 18: Into the Lagoon: China’s Response to U.S. Tech Competition

                    Prep Before Class: NY Times - How China is Changing Your Internet; Seizing Core Technologies by Adam Segal

                    Session 11: Reading Discussion

                    Session 12: The WSJ Investigative Reporter’s Guide to Research

October 25: EU-Taiwan Commission on TikTok Safety and Security

                    Prep Before Class:

                    Session 13: Reading Discussion + Preparation for Huawei Hearing Session 14: Commission Hearing on TikTok


November 1: Emerging Taiwan Media Voices and Chinese Disinformation Efforts

                      Prep Before Class: Ghost Island Media Podcasts and WSJ article on China disinformation

                      Session 15: Guest Interview – Emily Y. Wu - Ghost Island Media

                      Session 16: Guest Interview – Joyu Wang – The Wall Street Journal

                      Due November 7 noon: ”Billion Dollar Bet” assignment

November 8: Investing Amid the Global Digital Divide

                      Prep Before Class: Review “Billion Dollar Bet” for Q&A

                     Session 17: Guest Portfolio Manager Q&A

                     Session 18: Guest PM Q&A Pt. 2

The Impact of Big Tech’s Rise on Business, Society and Politics

November 15: Government and Policy: Technology, Data, and Crisis Preparation

                        Prep Before Class: The Fifth Risk excerpt by Michael Lewis

                        Session 19: Reading Discussion

                        Session 20: Introduction to The Briefing Group Project

November 22: Data and Privacy: Secrets and Surveillance in the Digital Age

                        Prep Before Class: Edward Snowden podcast (Part One + Two; United States of Secrets documentary (Part One

                       + Two)

                        Session 21: Reading Discussion

                        Session 22: TBD

November 29: China’s Surveillance State: Social Control and Big Tech

                        Prep Before Class: Surveillance State book excerpt

                        Session 23: Reading Discussion

                        Session 24: Guest Interview

December 6: Making Money: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

                     Prep Before Class: The Meaning of Decentralization; Bitcoin: A Peer-to- Peer Electronic Cash System

                     Session 25: Reading Discussion

                     Session 26: Guest Interview

December 13: Taiwan’s Semiconductor Industry: Observations on Today and Tomorrow

                       Session 27: Lecture on Semiconductor Industry in Taiwan

                       Session 28: Student Q&A with Prof. Carew

Global Digital Divide

December 20: Alphabet Anti-Trust Hearing

                       Session 29: Reading Discussion + Preparation for Alphabet Hearing

                       Session 30: Hearing on Alphabet Exercise

December 27: Student Presentations (Pt. 1)

                       Session 31: The Briefing Final Project Presentations (Pt. 1)

                       Session 32: Q&A

January 3: Lessons Learned: Assessing Big Tech’s Future

                 Session 35: Student Presentations (Pt. 2)

                 Session 36: The Big Course Takeaways - Your Views Now vs. Then

We look forward to a great semester and appreciate you signing up for the course.

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant




There will be no final exam, but rather a series of assignments and projects over the course of the semester. This makes it essential for you to stay engaged throughout the course.

Grading will be as follows:

Weekly Reading Takeaways 20%

Congressional Hearing Exercises 20%

Individual Assignment - The Billion Dollar Bet 20%

Group Project - The Briefing 20%

Engagement + Contribution to Learning 20%

Total: 100%

Textbook & Reference
Urls about Course