The China National Press and Publication Administration recently announced that tens of millions of its media reporters working at national news agencies, radio and television stations, journals, and newspapers are required to take an online test on “Xuexi Qiangguo App,” which is a mobile application that the Publicity Department launched in January of this year. The test must be taken between October 28 and November 10. A BBC article reported that the purpose of the online test is to “test their loyalty to the party’s policies and to Xi Jinping.” Reporters who do not take the test or do not pass the exam will not be able to renew their media pass. A BBC reporter took a simulation exercise and found that the content of the test covered many issues. The subjects of journalism, communication, and legal issues accounted for about one-third. More importantly, the test is on the party’s policies and on the talks that Xi Jinping has given on publicity work in the media.
Below is an example from a practice test:
“What is the duty and mission of the party’s publicity work in the media?”
If you choose to “stay firmly on the truth of the news,” a wrong symbol will appear on the screen of the mobile phone immediately, suggesting that the correct answer should be “strongly adhere to positive publicity.”
The online test has to be taken at a testing site which has a surveillance camera. It is also required that, prior to the exam, each media needs to have a minimum of 24 hours of study sessions. It must hire experts and well known reporters or conduct experience sharing among the participants.
“Xuexi Qiangguo” is widely interpreted to be the ideological propaganda platform that Xi Jinping implemented to govern the country after he took office.
At first, all of the CCP members were asked to download and read the articles regularly. In February, it was the most downloaded app in Apple’s China app store. Today, the download requirement has been extended to civil servants, state-owned enterprise employees and public school teachers. Even some non-party members are required to download it.
Source: BBC Chinese, October 14, 2019