SemesterFall Semester, 2023
DepartmentJunior Class of BA in Global Governance Senior Class of BA in Global Governance
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

Fall 2023 Global Digital Divide Syllabus v7.21.2023.pdf