Sensing the Chinese diaspora: How mobile apps can provide insights into global migration flows

Minhui Xue, Xin Yuan, Heather Lee, Keith Ross

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Many countries today have 'country-centric mobile apps' which are mobile apps that are primarily used by residents of a specific country. Many of these country-centric apps also include a location-based service which takes advantage of the smartphone's API access to the smartphone's current GPS location. In this paper, we investigate how such country-centric apps with location-based services can be employed to study the diaspora associated with ethnic and cultural groups. Our methodology combines GPS hacking, automated task tools for mobile phones, and OCR to generate migration statistics for diaspora. As a case study, we apply our methodology to WeChat, an enormously popular app within China and among ethnic Chinese worldwide. Using WeChat, we collect data about the Chinese diaspora in 32 cities. The combined data provides interesting insights to the modern Chinese diaspora and how it has changed in recent years.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationProceedings - 19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2019
    EditorsPanagiotis Papapetrou, Xueqi Cheng, Qing He
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    Pages603-608
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9781728146034
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 2019
    Event19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2019 - Beijing, China
    Duration: Nov 8 2019Nov 11 2019

    Publication series

    NameIEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW
    Volume2019-November
    ISSN (Print)2375-9232
    ISSN (Electronic)2375-9259

    Conference

    Conference19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2019
    CountryChina
    CityBeijing
    Period11/8/1911/11/19

    Keywords

    • Chinese diaspora
    • Global migration
    • Mobile app
    • WeChat

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science Applications
    • Software

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