This App Helps You Learn About China, While China Learns All About You

Article Introduction

The report focuses only on devices operating on the Android operating system, which underpins the vast majority of China’s smartphones. The app is also available for download on Apple Inc. ’s iPhones. In a statement, Apple said the Xuexi Qiangguo app can be downloaded on its devices, but that “this type of ‘superuser’ surveillance could not be conducted on its operating system.”

Ms. Hoffman, the Australian report’s author, said the emergence of companies like GTCOM highlights how innocuous devices and services can serve as tools for the Chinese party-state’s “tech-enhanced authoritarianism” ambitions.

“While there’s an important focus on technologies such as 5G, surveillance or cyber-enabled espionage, this narrow focus misses the bigger picture,” she said.