Dr. Weifeng Zhong is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His work bridges the field of natural language processing and machine learning to economic policy studies. His other research interests include political economy, U.S.-China relations, open-source intelligence, and fairness in artificial intelligence applications.
Zhong leads the open-source Policy Change Index (PCI) project, a framework that uses machine learning to "read" large volumes of propaganda text and facilitate inferences on policy issues. The project has produced algorithms to predict China's major policy changes, predict the likelihood of a Chinese crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and estimate the true scale of COVID-19 in China. The PCI has informed decision-makers in the U.S. and other governments and has received significant academic interest and media coverage.
Zhong has been published in a variety of scholarly journals, including the B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, and the Yale Journal of International Affairs. He is a Washington Examiner contributor. His work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, BBC, POLITICO, and The Hill. He has also appeared as an interview guest for Fox Business, Marketplace, Yahoo Finance, C-SPAN, and Cheddar News, among others.
Previously, Zhong was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He has a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in managerial economics and strategy from Northwestern University, an M.Econ. and an M.Phil. from the University of Hong Kong, and a B.A. from Shantou University in China.