"Connected China," Reuters, launched March 2013.

A multi-award-winning Reuters desktop/iPad news app that tracks and visualizes the people, organizations and relationships that form China's elite power structure.


Employing novel design and HTML5 technologies, Connected China explains the social and professional networks of China's leaders, highlighting the interpersonal relationships that drive business, move markets and shape the political landscape in the world's most populous nation.


Irene was Connected China's project leader and editor, managing a global team that researched, designed and developed the app over 18 months. 

Connected China achieved tremendous user engagement - the average session length for return visitors was 20 minutes and 12.45 pages per visit.

(By comparison, at the time of Connected China's launch, Americans spent an average of 20 minutes per Facebook visit, according to Experian Hitwise. Readers spend an average of 4.4 minutes per visit on newspaper websites, according to the comScore Media Metrix, as cited by the Newspaper Association of America.)

The project has won several journalism and design awards, including a 2013 Data Journalism Award, a Deadline Club and a special citation by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, which called it "great journalism married with great design."

It was a finalist in Fast Company's Innovation By Design Awards, in league with Google Maps for iPhone, Google Now and Facebook's mobile app. The app was featured in the 2014 Best American Infographics, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

For her work on the project, she was selected as a finalist for the 2013 Livingston Young Journalist Award and received a Reuters Journalist of the Year Award for "Storytelling Innovation of the Year."

To learn more, check out these videos, articles in the Columbia Journalism Review and Nieman Journalism Lab and posts from partner Fathom Information Design.