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A Political Propaganda App Goes Viral in China

The digital world of China is dominated by certain apps: Tik Tok, WeChat, QQ, games of all kinds… But in anticipation of the Chinese New Year, an app created by the Beijing Government, called Xuexi Qiangguo, has sneaked into the top 3 of the most downloaded applications by Chinese mobile phone users.

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The digital world of China is dominated by certain apps: Tik Tok, WeChat, QQ, games of all kinds… But in anticipation of the Chinese New Year, an app created by the Beijing Government, called Xuexi Qiangguo, has sneaked into the top 3 of the most downloaded applications by Chinese mobile phone users.

“Xuexi Qiangguo, the government app that is sweeping China, can be translated as “study strengthens the nation.”

It is a chat and news app that has displaced two apps from ByteDance (creator of Tik Tok) from its position in the ranking of the most downloaded applications. The news section contains content that deals almost exclusively with the Communist Party of China and Xi Jinping, the country’s president.

The instant messaging service that it incorporates is facilitated by Dingtalk, Alibaba’s communication tool. This means that users can talk to their Dingtalk contacts through Xuexi Qiangguo.

The application is the product of a research division subordinated to the Advertising Department of China, which in turn is a very powerful arm of the propaganda exercised by the Communist Party. This direction of propaganda, focused on the digital world, tries to reach generations of younger Chinese.

However, part of its success seems artificial. Xuexi Qiangguo, has a score of 2.4 out of 5, extracted through 6,810 reviews. Its large number of downloads can be explained because a large number of members of the Communist Party (which has about 90 million members) downloaded the application, in some cases almost mandatory.

In addition, the Party’s publicity apparatus has encouraged the Chinese masses to download the app, which, in addition to the downloading by large numbers of government officials, explains its success in absolute numbers.

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