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Lea Schneidemesser

Doctoral Researcher

Lea Schneidemesser is a doctoral researcher at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin and the Department for economics, law and social sciences at the University of Erfurt. She previously studied sociology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena with study and research stays in Wuhan, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. She was also a research associate at the Berlin Social Science Center in the research group Globalization, Work and Production, conducting research on the application of digital platforms in manufacturing value chains, together with Florian Butollo.

Lea Schneidemesser works on topics in the area of economic, labour and industrial sociology as well as political economy of science and technology with a regional focus on Germany and China. Currently, she is a member of the research group “Work with Artificial Intelligence” at the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin which investigates how work is changing through the use of AI. And she is a member of the DFG Collaborative Research Center 294 “Structural Change of Property” where she conducts research on direct investments of Chinese corporations in Germany and the European Union.

Her own research is positioned at the intersection of both research projects. Her dissertation examines the strategic importance of data and digital technologies (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, platforms, etc.) for Chinese direct investments in Germany and Europe.

Positions at Weizenbaum Institut

Doctoral Researcher

Research Group “Working with Artificial Intelligence


Selected Publications

Schneidemesser, Lea/Butollo, Florian (2022). “Alibaba’s Distribution-Driven Approach towards the Industrial Internet: A Chinese Version of Industry 4.0?” in: China’s New Development Strategies: Moving Up and Moving Abroad in Global Value Chains., edited by G. Gereffi, P. Bamber, and K. Fernandez-Stark. Palgrave-Macmillan. S. 61-83.

Butollo, Florian/ Schneidemesser, Lea (2022). “Who Runs the Show in Digitalized Manufacturing? Data, Digital Platforms and the Restructuring of Global Value Chains.” Global Networks glob.12366. doi: 10.1111/glob.12366.

Butollo, Florian/ Schneidemesser, Lea (2022): Platforms in Industry – disruptors of traditional manufacturing?, Hertie School Policy Brief:

Butollo, Florian/ Schneidemesser, Lea (2021): “Beyond “Industry 4.0": B2B Factory Networks as an Alternative Path towards the Digital Transformation of Manufacturing and Work.” International Labour Review 160(4):ilr.12211. doi: 10.1111/ilr.12211.

Schneidemesser, Lea (2021): Fabriknetzwerk statt vernetzte Fabrik. Wie Alibaba die chinesische Konsumgüterindustrie digitalisiert. In: WZB-Mitteilungen, Nr. 171. Online verfügbar unter:

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