Leaked Documents Reveal How CCP Uses Mobile App to Brainwash Its Citizens

By Anthony Liu
Anthony Liu
Anthony Liu
June 29, 2021 Updated: June 30, 2021

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ratcheted up its nationwide brainwashing efforts through the use of a mobile app to get citizens to accept CCP ideology and follow the Party narrative, leaked government documents obtained by The Epoch Times reveal.

The documents, issued by the CCP’s Propaganda Department of the Guangxi Region in January 2019, expose the directives and implementation plans as to how the CCP fully mobilized all levels of its propaganda departments and all necessary resources when it rolled out the propaganda app across China.

The app Xuexi Qiangguo, which literally translates as “Study to make China strong,” quickly became the nation’s most downloaded app after it was launched by the Central Propaganda Department (CPD) in January 2019.

The app platform features what is officially called “Xi Jinping Thought for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era,” communist ideology extracted from a collection of writings and “important speeches” by Xi and enshrined in the state and Party constitutions, calling for significant advancement of the country’s economic, technological, and military might by 2035. With a logo reading “study” in Chinese, or “study Xi” as a pun, Xuexi Qiangguo implies that studying the Party leader’s words makes the country strong.

According to the documents, the CPD “has been building the app since November 2017 in order for all Party members, cadres, and the masses nationwide to thoroughly study, propagandize, and comply with Xi’s political ideology.”

Brainwash and Control Chinese People

Following the directives by the CPD and the Party Committee of the Guangxi region, a regional leadership work team, led by the regional Propaganda Department head, was established to oversee all work teams at lower levels that strive to promote the app “in all fields, all fronts, all walks of life … to ensure that Xi Jinping Thought and the spirit of the Party’s 19th National Congress take deep root in the hearts of people everywhere across the region,” the leaked document states.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese leader Xi Jinping applauds during the closing session of the National Peoples Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11, 2021. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)

To effectively achieve that goal, “three task forces” were to be established by the Propaganda Department of the Guangxi region, the documents indicate.

The first is a monitoring team, consisting of administrators appointed by the Party committees at all levels across the region, with each member responsible for organizing, supervising, inspecting, and reporting on the daily participation in the study on the app platform at his or her workplace.

The second is a propaganda team of Party-appointed correspondents from major CCP media outlets, responsible for censoring and feeding the app content to fully cover each county, city, and district throughout the region in a timely manner.

The third is a team of the Chinese regime’s internet trolls, known as “wumao dang” in Chinese, or “50 cent army.” Major media outlets, universities, and research institutions are required to recruit a group of online commentators, to work exclusively for the app platform and have themselves registered with and supervised by cyberspace administrators at all levels. Commentators are required to “actively write comments, reply to comments, and promote key articles.”

In addition, an enforcement mechanism was set up to ensure that all on the teams are evaluated and held responsible for how well each individual performs his or her duties.

Meanwhile, another mechanism for assessment and incentive was established to boost the individuals’ engagement with the app in all departments and units throughout the region. Rewards are given according to the points earned from the amount of time spent studying the app content.

The internal documents reveal that the platform was used not only to impose the CCP’s ideology on Chinese citizens, but to also propagandize what the regime calls “achievements” in areas such as epidemic prevention and poverty eradication.

Of course, no one would ever report on or even mention the true pandemic situation across China, such as the origin of the CCP virus in Wuhan, which created a pandemic that’s ravaging the world.

Digital Surveillance Backdoor Uncovered

Xuexi Qiangguo was developed by China’s tech giant Alibaba, which is another example of a Chinese tech company collaborating with the Chinese regime, since Alibaba founder Jack Ma is a member of the CCP. The app has a potential backdoor that allows the CCP to log the locations, calls, and contact lists of its massive number of users, according to a report by German cybersecurity company Cure53.

The report raises security concerns as the CCP is tightening digital surveillance of its citizens while simultaneously brainwashing them. It also reveals the close relationship between the Party and China’s tech companies, which are required to collaborate with Beijing to further the regime’s goals.

Another Way to Brainwash the Nation

Epoch Times Photo
Communist Party members using the Xuexi Qiangguo app during a weekly meeting in Beijing in February 2019. Tens of millions of Chinese are now using the app, often under pressure from the regime. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

Xuexi Qiangguo has been touted as the most popular Chinese app, surpassing big hitters like WeChat and TikTok in the mainland following its debut in January 2019. Its runaway popularity can be attributed to directives issued by the regime’s state and local authorities at all levels that require not only its more than 90 million CCP members but also many non-member Chinese citizens to download the app, as it aims to brainwash the nation, especially the youth.

The app has been likened to a digital version of the once-ubiquitous “Little Red Book,” containing quotations of the late CCP leader Mao Zedong, which was mandatory to own and carry during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976).

As the leaked documents show, the CCP requires all propaganda departments, at all levels, to actively mobilize all departments and units across China to use the app, including state-owned enterprises, state-run institutions, privately owned companies, and schools.

For example, in Guanxi, the regional Propaganda Department worked with the Ministry of Education to require all primary and secondary school pupils and college students in the region to download the app and in this way instill the CCP ideology in them, according to an internal document issued by the CPD on March 18, 2020.

Beginning in the fall 2020 semester, 37 key colleges and universities across the country added a new course to their curriculum called “Xi Jinping Thought,” according to the CCP’s theoretical journal, Seeking the Truth.

According to Li Linyi, a commentator on China and international affairs, the CCP’s brainwashing and thought control targets all of society. For example, the CCP is forcing Chinese people of all ages and from all walks of life to download and use Xuexi Qiangguo. This is done through various means, such as administrative orders or as an imposed requirement through performance reviews.

Long Tengyun contributed to this report.

Anthony Liu
Anthony Liu