His research interests lie at the intersection of digital media, political communication, technology governance, and computational social science. His work recognizes that the modes of power have significantly shifted in the era of algorithms, big data, and social media. As such, we need to understand how, why and by whom power relations are transformed through new communication technologies, and how the new modalities of power can influence various actors and the operation of technologies. His research contributes to the ongoing debate about the political and social implications of technological change.
His research has received recognition and support from the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Volkswagen Foundation, the International Communication Association, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies. His studies have appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Policy & Internet, Social Media + Society, International Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Communication Research, and Journal of Communication.
Liang has a B.A. in public administration from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, an M.Sc. in political communication from the University of Glasgow, and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Michigan. Before entering academia, he was a journalist in Chengdu, China.