The smash hit Chinese government propaganda app Xuexi Qiangguo, which translates to 'Study to make China strong', was developed by the technology firm Alibaba, reports Reuters today.
Just last week, the propaganda app knocked Wechat and Tik Tok's Chinese version Douyin off the "most popular app" pedestal in Apple's China app store.
Two people at Alibaba disclosed their company's role in the Xuexi Qiangguo app to Reuters during a time when the relationships between Chinese technology firms and the Chinese government are being newly questioned.
Here's a screengrab of the associated Chinese Government website, which features glowing, nationalistic prose throughout:
And here's an excerpt from the Reuters report:
It was developed by a largely unknown special projects team at Alibaba known as the "Y Projects Business Unit", which takes on development projects outside the company, said the people.
New York-listed Alibaba declined to comment on whether the business unit had developed the app.
The app's development by Alibaba, whose Chairman Jack Ma is a member of the Communist Party, is the latest example of a Chinese tech company collaborating with the government.
The country's propaganda department has released the app ahead of next month's National People's Congress in Beijing, China's top annual parliamentary gathering.
IMAGE: Xuexi Qiangguo is seen on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/Illustration