Personal profile

Personal profile

Chris Chan joined RUHL as a Senior Lecturer at School of Business and Management in August 2022. His research focus is on work and employment in China and Asia.  He has published widely about workplace conflict, state regulation, trade union, labour NGO, labour rights and corporate social responsibility in global production.

Chris positions himself as a public intellectual who engages deeply with civil society. This is reflected in his currenct research on employment relations in digital economy. He led commissoned research for Oxfam Hong Kong and published a report on 'Towards Fair Work: Working Conditions of Grassroot Platform Labour in Hong Kong.' He also co-organised Asian Platform Labour Conference with participation from scholars and activists and was interviewed by Melborne Asian Review on migrant workers, platform work and civil society in China. 

He gained his first degree from School of Business at the University of Hong Kong and worked as a trade union organiser in Hong Kong, before he studied a MA in Comparative Labour Studies and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick. He then taught at City University of Hong Kong from 2009 to 2018. Prior to his relocation to the UK, he was an Associate Professor in Department of Sociology and the Director of Center for Social Innovation Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.   

He is the series editor of Asian Labour and Welfare Policies (Plargrave), and an Editorial Board member of journals such as Work, Employment and SocietyLabour History , Work in the Global Economy and Asian Labour Review. He has held visiting fellowships or honorary appointments at Harvard (Jacob Wertheim Fellowship for Betterment of Industrial Relations), Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute), LSE (Marling Birney Global Scholar in Residence), Manchester (Global Development Institute), Université Paris Cité (CESSMA) and WZB Berlin Social Science Center (Globalization, Work and Production Research Group).  

Below are his selected publications. 


  • Chan, C. K. C. (2010) The Challenge of Labour in China: strikes and the changing labour regimes in global factories. New York: Routledge.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

  • Chan, C.K.C., and Luo S.Q. (2024) “The Servicing Model and Changing Pattern of Trade Union Reform: A Historical Review of The All-China Federation of Trade Unions,” Le Mouvement social.
  • Au-Yeung, T. C., Chan, C.K.C., Ming, C.K.K. and Tsui, A.W.Y. (2024) “Gig Economy, Platform Work, and Social Policy: Food Delivery Workers’ Experiences of and Views on Occupational Welfare in Hong Kong.”
  • Chan, C.K.C., Tsui, A.W.Y., Tang, L. (2023) “Medical Workers’ Strike under COVID-19 Pandemic: the case of Hong Kong in 2020,” Work in the Global Economy.
  • Wu, K.M., Chan, C.K.C., Chan, S.Y. and Yung, K. W. (2023) ‘Plastic use in wet markets: A case of place-based sustainability education in Hong Kong.’ Journal of Sustainability Education, Vol. 28, March, 2023.
  • Chan, C.K.C. & Hui, E. S. I. (2021) “Pension Systems and Labour Resistance in Post-Socialist China and Vietnam: A Welfare Regime Analysis.” Journal of Contemporary
  • Hui, E. S. I. and Chan, C.K.C. (2021) “From Production to Reproduction: The Changing Characteristics of Labor Collective Actions in China,” Journal of Industrial Relations. org/10.1177/00221856211052070
  • Wang, Xu, Chan, C.K.C. and Yang, L. (2021) “Economic Restructuring and Migrant Workers’ Coping Strategies in China’s Pearl River Delta”, Third World Quarterly. org/10.1080/01436597.2021.1873763
  • Cheung, C.K., Ma, S. K. M, and Chan, C.K.C. (2021) “Linking participation in occupying protest, civic engagement, and approval of government among college students in Hong Kong.” Social Science Journal. org/10.1016/j.soscij.2019.03.006
  • Chan, C.K.C. (2020) “The World’s Factory in Transition: Diversifying Industrial Relations and Intensifying Workers’ Struggles in China.” The China Review. 20(10): 1-17.
  • Wang, X., Chan, C.K.C. and Yang, L. C. (2020) “Economic Upgrading, Social Upgrading, and Rural Migrant Workers in the Pearl River Delta.” The China Review. 20(1): 51-81.
  • Luo, S.Q. and Chan, C.K.C. (2020) “Reclaiming” Territories: Two Case Studies of Trade Union Innovation Projects in South China.” The China Review. 20(1): 135-163.
  • Wang, X., Ye, Y. & Chan, C.K.C. (2019) “Space in a Social Movement: A Case Study of Occupy Central in Hong Kong in 2014.” Space and Culture. 22 (4), 434-448.
  • Chan, C.K.C., Chan, S.S.Y. & Tang, L. (2019) “Reflecting on Social Movement Unionism in Hong Kong: a case study of the 2013 dockworkers’ strike”. Journal of Contemporary Asia. 49 (1), 54-77. org/10.1080/00472336.2018.1448429
  • Xu, Y. & Chan, C.K.C. (2018). “Conductive activism: Anti-sweatshop campaigns across Hong Kong and mainland China.” Journal of Contemporary Asia.48(1): 88-112.
  • Chan, C.K.C. & Hui, E. S. I. (2017). “Bringing class struggles back: A Marxian analysis of the state and class relations in China.” Globalizations. 14/2. 232 -
  • Hui, E. S. I. & Chan, C.K.C. (2016). “The Influence of Overseas Business Associations on Law-making in China —A Case Study.” The China Quarterly 225 (Mar 2016). 145 -
  • Lu, J. and Chan, C.K.C. (2016)“Collective Identity, Framing, and Mobilization of Environmental Protest in Urban China: A Case Study of Qidong's Protest.” China: an international journal. 14(2). 102 - 122.
  • Hui, E. S.I. and Chan, K.C. (2015) “Beyond the Union-Centred Approach: A Critical Evaluation of Recent Trade Union Elections in China.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 53(3): 601-627.
  • Chan, C.K.C. & Nadvi, K. (2014). “Changing labour regulations and labour standards in China: Retrospect and challenges.” International Labour Review153(4).
  • Hui, E.S.I. & Chan, C.K.C. (2014). “The politics of labour legislation in southern China: How foreign chambers of commerce and government agencies influence collective bargaining laws.” International Labour Review. 153(4)
  • Chan, C.K.C. (2014). “Constrained Labour Agency and the Changing Regulatory Regime in China.” Development and Change.45(4); 685 -
  • Chan, C. K. C. and Hui, E.S.I.(2014) “The Development of Collective Bargaining in China: From ‘Collective Bargaining by Riot’ to ‘Party State-led Wage Bargaining’”. The China Quarterly, 217:221 -
  • Chan, C.K.C.(2013) “Contesting Class Organization: Migrant Workers’ Strikes in China’s Pearl River Delta, 1978–2010.” International Labor and Working-Class History, 83. (Spring): 112-136
  • Chan, C. K. C. (2013) “Community-based organizations for migrant workers’ rights: the emergence of labour NGOs in China.” Community Development Journal, 48(1):6-22.
  • Chan, C. K. C. and Y. J. Zhai(2013) “Active labour market policies in China –towards improved labour protection?” Journal of Asian Public Policy, 6(1): 10-25. org/10.1080/17516234.2013.765181
  • Chan, R. K.H. and Chan, C.K.C.(2013) “The shifting boundary between work and welfare – a review of active labour market policies in Hong Kong.” Journal of Asian Public Policy, 6(1):
  • Chan, C. K. C. (2013) “Promoting freedom of association in China? Putting CSR into a national context.” Journal of Comparative Asian Development. 12(1): 6-34. org/10.1080/15339114.2013.771001
  • Chan, C. K. C.(2012) “Class or citizenship? Debating workplace conflict in China.” Journal of Contemporary Asia, 42 (2): 308-327.
  • Chan, C. K. C. and Hui, E.S.I.(2012) “The Dynamics and Dilemma of Workplace Trade Union Reform in China: the case of Honda workers’ strike.” Journal of Industrial relations, 54(4): 653-668.
  • Hui, E.S.I. and Chan, C. K. C.(2012) “The ‘Harmonious Society’ as a Hegemonic Project: Labour Conflicts and Changing Labour Policies in China.” Labour, Capital and Society, 44(2):154-183.
  • Chan, C.K.C. and Lam, M. C.(2012) “The Reality and Challenges of Green Jobs in China: An exploring research.” International Journal of Labour Research, 4(2): 189-208.
  • Chan, C. K.C. (2010) “Class struggle in China: case Studies of migrant worker strikes in the Pearl River Delta.” South African Review of Sociology. 41(3)
  • Chan, C. K.C., Ngai, P. and Chan, J. (2010) “The Role of the State, Labour Policy and Workers’ Struggles in Globalized China.” Global Labour Journal 1(1):
  • Chan, C. K. C. and Pun, N. (2009) “The making of a new working class? a study of collective actions of migrant workers in South China.” The China Quarterly,
  • Chan, C. K. C. (2009) “Strike and workplace relations in a Chinese global factory.” Industrial Relations Journal,40 (1): 60-77.
  • Pun, N. and Chan, C. K. C. (2008) “The Subsumption of Class Discourse in China.” Boundary 2,35 (2):

Special Issues Editorship:

  • Chan, C.K.C., Florence, E. and Qiu, J. L. (ed.) (2021) “Special Issue: Agency Beyond Precarity: Platforms and the multiplication of labor regimes in China." China
  • Chan, C.K.C. (ed.) (2020) “Special Issue: The World’s Factory in Transition: Diversifying Industrial Relations and Intensifying Workers’ Struggles in China.” The China Review. 20(1).
  • Chan, C.K.C. and Nadvi, K. (ed.) (2014) “Special Issue: Labour Regulations Labour Standards in China”. International Labour Review. 153(5).

Book Chapters:

  • Chan, C. K. C. (2019) “Where Have All the Workers Gone? Reflections on the Role of Trade Unions during the Umbrella Movement.” In C.K. Lee and M. Sing (ed) Take Back Our Future: An Eventful Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press: 123-143.
  • Chan, C. K. C and He, Y. B. (2018) “The Transformation of Employment Relations in Contemporary China.” In A. Wilkinson et al. (ed) The Routledge Companion to Employment Relations. New York: Routledge: 402-417.
  • Chan, C. K. C. and Hui, E.S.I.(2016) ‘Direct Elections of Workplace Trade Unions in China: Implications for the changing labour regime,’ in C. Smith and M.W. Liu (ed.) China at Work. New York: Palgrave: 255-280.
  • Chan, C.K.C. and Chiu, Y.B. (2015) ‘Labour NGOs under State Corporatism: A Comparative Study on Taiwan in the 1980s and Contemporary China’. In A. Chan (ed.) Chinese Labor in Comparative Perspective. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press: 239-278.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

External positions

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

2021 → …

Research Associate, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University

2021 → …

Board of Trustees member, Periféria Policy and Research Center, Budapest

2021 → …