China’s most popular app, Xuexi Qiangguo, is promoting a course on blockchain technology that contains lessons on Bitcoin, Ethereum and cryptocurrency, reports crypto news source cnLedger.
The app has already spawned a number of monikers since its release on January 1, 2019 by China’s tech giant Alibaba.
Billed as a “fun educational tool”, the app is also called “Study Xi, Strong Nation”, “Study the Powerful Nation” and the “Xi Ping Thought” app for espousing the views of President Xi Ping and China’s Communist Party.
President Xi recently announced his support for the development of blockchain technology, which underpins popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
China has also passed a cryptography law aimed at “facilitating the development of the cryptography business and ensuring the security of cyberspace and information”. It will take effect on January 1, 2020.
2/ China’s most popular app, Xuexi Qiangguo (study for becoming powerful nation) now has a recommended course focusing entirely on blockchain, which contains Bitcoin & Ethereum lessons. The app released by CPC to help ppl learn about its political doctrines like Xi's thoughts. pic.twitter.com/nRdCntNRAA
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) October 28, 2019
According to a report by the US government’s Open Technology Fund, the app will also start administering a test for journalists to prove their comprehension of Xi Pinjing Thought as well as their loyalty to the Communist Party. In order to renew their credentials, they’ll have to pass.
Open Technology Fund also detected a “backdoor” in the app’s code, allowing the collection of detailed daily log reports containing user data and app activity.
The researchers report,
“The packages that contain the “backdoor” code are all in the package namespace containing the values “aliyun and alibaba,” suggesting that these packages were created and are maintained by Alibaba or Alibaba Cloud.”
In addition to supporting blockchain technology and using the new app to push the party doctrine, President Xi has also issued a ban on any anti-blockchain sentiment as the government gears up to launch its own state-backed digital currency. Any online content that calls out blockchain technology as a scam is being systematically scrubbed.
Since launch date, Xuexi Qiangguo has reportedly amassed more than 100 million active users, making it the most downloaded item on Apple’s App Store in China, outperforming social media apps on popular platforms WeChat and TikTok.