A Chinese government propaganda app “Xuexi Qiangguo”, is at the top of the charts of Apple China’s app store.
“Xuexi Qiangguo”, whose literal translation is “Study to make China strong” was developed by Alibaba and has overtaken Doukin, the Chinese version of TikTok, as the country’s most popular app.
The app’s main purpose is to boost XI’s cult of personality and advance his political outlook, “Xi Jinping Thought,” which is a fundamental plank of Chinese Communism. Users of this app are eligible to win prizes if they successfully complete quizzes on Xi’s life and writing.
However, the app’s meteoric rise is artificial. The UK Guardian reported that the government called on Communist Party members to download the app and directed local officials to promote it to their constituents. This comes as no shock when considering that Jack Ma, the Chairman of Alibaba who presided over the app’s development, is a member of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Guardian has also detailed how Chinese employers have integrated the propaganda app into their employee evaluation process. Low quiz scores on the app can prevent employees from getting promotions within their companies.
As of late, Chinese companies have been under considerable scrutiny for their questionable censorship and anti-privacy policies.
For example, companies like Tik Tok have generated considerable controversy lately. Since its launch in 2016, Tik Tok has become the most downloaded app in the IOS app store.
According to Affinity, Tik Tok “contains contradictory language, inconsistent application, and unintelligible onerous provisions, and it mandates arbitration.”
Additionally, there isn’t much redress for customers should the app violate its terms of service:
“Arbitration prohibits filing lawsuits and class actions- meaning that nobody can sue as a collective group, results are binding, and no appeal is possible, regardless of crimes committed by or on the app.”
Tik Tok has been caught in numerous data scandals as of late. It doesn’t help that there are no privacy features on the app, which leaves users’ personal information subject to theft.
As a result, the Peterson Institute for International Economics has labeled TikTok a “Huawei-sized problem” that poses a national security to countries like the U.S.
This serves as a firm reminder of why the U.S. needs to focus more on national defense rather than nation-building. Instead of trying to fix Third World backwaters, the U.S. should be updating its cyber-security infrastructure to confront the very real threat of cybercrimes and other forms of transgressions in cyberspace.
China has proven to be a nasty actor with regard cybercrimes. Until the Communist country is able to get its corporate house in order, the U.S. should steer clear of anymore trade agreements with the country.
U.S. Law Enforcement Bust 27 People Connected to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel
Over two dozen people were arrested on drug charges in connection to a Mexican cartel smuggling cocaine into the U.S. Following a two-year investigation, 27 people were arrested through Operation Tripwire, an investigation effort U.S. officials have been working on featuring members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
The trafficking network went from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cocaine originating from Mexico was smuggled stateside. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady declared “this is a large organization that was trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the country and has direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.”
U.S. authorities recounted that the investigations started after an agent in Pittsburgh was able to identify an address that received large quantities of suspicious-looking packages coming from California. Since then, agents started to do investigation on other members of the network across the U.S.
Across the span of seven months, authorities were able to intercept U.S. calls made by some of the alleged traffickers with Sinaloa carte leaders in Mexico. On September 9, 2020, 27 were arrested in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.
According to American authorities, $1.3 million in cash and over 140 kilograms of cocaine were seized. The aforementioned people arrested are now facing a prison sentence of between 10 years and life in prison.
The border situation is no joke. Prior administrations have largely neglected the issue and have allowed for unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking to cross the U.S. border.
In a prior instance, BLP reported on how Mexico is a failed state that cannot maintain public order and is largely being pushed around by cartels. Due to its proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s problems will likely spillover stateside.
This is why border security is crucial. Thankfully, the U.S. has a president in Donald Trump that gets the memo. He’ll still need help from Congress, however,
That’s why it’s crucial that America First Republicans have strong showings at all branches of government in 2020.
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