“In a bright red office in south Beijing, some of China’s most studious Communist Party members are gathered around their smartphones,” Cate Cadell reports for Reuters. “The focus of their attention is a range of mobile apps and websites which allow them to study the speeches of Chinese President Xi Jinping, including one developed by their own employer, Beijing-based conglomerate Tidal Star Group.”
“Tidal Star is among a rising number of Chinese firms working for, or taking inspiration from, the country’s ruling Communist Party to develop high-tech propaganda tools aimed at spreading the party’s message among a tech-savvy younger generation,” Cadell reports. “‘Of course we study the spirit of Xi Jinping’s speeches in the traditional way, but now that we have the app, party members can basically learn the excellent ideas of the national leaders every day,’ said Cheng Hong, who heads Tidal Star’s party committee.”
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
— George Orwell
“Last month, an app called ‘Xuexi Qianggu’ which tracks how much time users spend learning Communist Party teachings and how they are progressing with their study, became the most downloaded app on Apple’s China app store. The app, developed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has since chalked up around 75 million downloads, according to estimates by Beijing-based consultancy Qimai,” Cadell reports. “It is just one of dozens of Chinese Communist Party apps available on Android app stores and Apple’s China App Store, including ‘Party Member eHome,’ ‘Wisely Build the Party,’ ‘Party Member’s Little Backpack.'”
“‘Since 2016, one central publicity purpose for the Party is to make ‘red millennials,” said a Beijing-based manager at a major U.S.-listed Chinese news feed app,” Cadell reports. “His company had collaborated with the Chinese Communist Party to promote stories written by state media outlets higher up in search results. ‘Official news is always the top priority. There is no news until official news,’ said the person, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to media.”
The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.
— George Orwell
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MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the siren forever sings loudest to the young.
It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
— Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775