“The [Chinese Communist Party] essentially has access to over 100 million users’ data,” said Sarah Aoun, director of technology at the Open Technology Fund, an initiative funded by the U.S. government under Radio Free Asia. “That’s coming from the top of a government that is expanding its surveillance into citizens’ day-to-day lives.”

The party, led by Xi Jinping, launched the app, called “Study the Great Nation,” in January. The name is a pun because the Chinese word for study — “xuexi” — contains the authoritarian leader’s family name.

The app contains news articles and videos, many…

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