Alibaba is reportedly the developer of Chinese government propaganda app Xuexi Qiangguo, which translates to “Study to make China strong,” putting the tech giant under scrutiny over its ties with the government.

The app was developed by a special project team of the company known as the “Y Projects Business Unit”, which takes on development projects outside the company, Reuters reported citing people familiar with the matter. Through the app, users can read government news, browse short videos on Party theories, and even take a quiz on major aspects of Communist Party ideology. The recently launched app has overtaken China’s hit services like WeChat and TikTok’s China version Douyin as the most popular app in Apple’s China app store.

Although the news still hasn’t been confirmed, there’s evidence pointing to the close relationship between the tech giant and the app. Users with Alibaba’s productivity tool DingTalk can use their accounts to log into Xuexi Qiangguo, which will sync the users’ dialogues on DingTalk to the app’s chat feature directly.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.