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Little Red App: Xi’s Thoughts Are (Surprise!) a Hit in China


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Little Red App: Xi’s Thoughts Are (Surprise!) a Hit in China

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BEIJING — Call it the Little Red App.

Part social platform, part indoctrination tool, a new smartphone app called Study the Great Nation represents the latest effort by the Chinese Communist Party to bring its propaganda initiatives into the mobile age.

So far, it seems to be working. Study the Great Nation recently became the most downloaded app on Apple’s app store in China, and on several app stores that cater to phones running Android as well.

Not all of the enthusiasm appears to have arisen organically, however. Since the app’s release at the beginning of the year, Communist Party branches at universities and local governments have arranged for administrators to guide and monitor party members as they use the app for political education, according to announcements on official websites.

Study the Great Nation, which was produced by the central government’s Publicity Department, has polish and sheen enough to match any of China’s popular news and entertainment apps. Most of those apps are not focused so narrowly, however, on all things Xi Jinping, the country’s leader.

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