Alibaba, a multi-million dollar company headed by Jack Ma, who is considered as one of the biggest entrepreneurs of the present generation, recently came into the news as the company responsible for developing an application aimed at spreading the propaganda of the Chinese government. This revelation was done by two employees of the company itself and comes at a time when China’s technology firms are under severe scrutiny globally about their ties to Beijing.
The application called “XuexiQiangguo” is one of the most popular and downloaded apps in China, overtaking Doujin, which is the Chinese Tik-Tok version as well as WeChat. In fact, it became the number 1 app on China’s Apple Store previous week. The literal translation of the name of the app is “study to make China strong” and concentrates on propagating the ideas of President Xi Jinping. A special project team working in Alibaba called the “ Y projects business unit “ which is primarily responsible for taking up such development projects based outside the company is said to have created the application. However, Alibaba refrained on commenting on any such allegations.
If the allegations indeed turn out to be true, it will be a perfect example of the Chinese Government working in collaboration with the tech firms in order to spread their ideas. The launch of the application also comes at a time when China’s top meeting of parliamentary bodies is about to held in Beijing. The content of the app is mainly videos, community comments, government news, and quizzes which can be accessed by anybody who downloads it. For accessibility, login credentials of DingTalk, one of Alibaba’s messaging app, can be used which further confirms the association.
One major reason why the app has close to 43.7 million downloads in Android and Apple is the fact that the local government issued a directive which compelled the party members to download it in their smart devices. It is still not clear if Alibaba has some monetary advantages from the app but their involvement with the Chinese Government is certainly a surety now.