Peng LU is a Professor and the Director of Department of Sociology for Technology and Economy at Institute of Sociology of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). He also serves as Secretary-in-general of Research Center for Private Entrepreneurs of CASS.

He earned his Ph.D. degree in sociology at Tsinghua University in 2010, plus a visiting student experience at Yale University from 2007-2008. He worked at New York University Abu Dhabi as a postdoctoral research fellow with Ivan Szelenyi from 2011 to 2012.

He is the founder of Baiji (, a lab for empowering corporations to achieve sustainable development under the idea of Corporate Social Innovation. In addition, he has also consulted for the China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the State Administration of Market Regulation, Shanghai Municipal Government, UNESCO, and many top Chinese companies, including Baidu, Ali, Tencent, Meituan, and Geely.

His personal research concentrates on the power structure, attitudes, and collective behaviors of the Chinese elite. He also studies business-government relationship. To study Chinese elite, he co-founds Chinese Super Rich Persons (CSRP), a data-set collects socio-political info of the visibly richest Chinese private entrepreneurs. He is also the managing director of Chinese Private Entrepreneur Survey (CPES), a nationwide survey conducted every two years since 1993 (, cooperated with Chinese authorities. (For more info on the team of elite studies, check CES)

By using both qualitative and quantitative methods, he has published many papers on peer-reviewed Chinese and international journals. He also publishes a book on the collapse of a local growth coalition of Chinese private oil investor and government officials, and a text book on theories of social stratification. In addition, he translates numerous books and articles including Who Rules America, Making Capitalism without Capitalists, and Social Theory and Postcommunism.

He is currently working on a project on the social impact of high technology wielded by Chinese giant companies in the digital times. He has created an index to evaluate social value of top Chinese companies, and collected cutting-edge case in which corporations use new technology in platform governance, poverty reduction, and other public affairs for good. The theoretical ambition is to redefine the role of market and technology in a system that traditional civil societal forces fail.

Influenced by his mentor Ivan Szelenyi, he has an enduring interest in Central Europe and Russia, and has co-established a research network with colleagues from these regions. He was also in Science Po Bordeaux, Institute of Development Studies in Sussex University, and University of Duisburg-Essen as visiting scholar. In recent years, he is interested exploring new emerging economies and Africa, particularly digitalization of governance and social life by multinational corporations.


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