President Xi Jinping is sometimes described in foreign media as China's most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong. Mao may have had a cult of personality, but he didn't have his own app.
The app may not have in-app purchases such as provincial governorships. There are no banners or alerts about the latest officials to fall to anti-graft probes. And it certainly doesn't have any sections on factional intrigues titled "Clash of Clans." It is, however, downloadable in versions for iOS and Android phones and tablets.
The app's developer is listed as the China Cadre's Study Network, affiliated with the Communist Party's Central Party School.
Unlike his predecessors, Xi and his PR crew have played a savvy social media and meme-crafting game, engineering (or at least tolerating) events such as a 2013 visit to a dumpling store — of which cellphone pictures went viral — and a cartoon rendition of himself and first lady Peng Liyuan.
One measurement of how the app is being received comes from leading portal Sina.com, where it so far reportedly received 2,145 five-star ratings (out of how many is not clear). It seemed to be faring less well in Apple's App Store, where it received 1.5 stars with 13 ratings.
Here's a random sampling of content from inside the app's dozen or so colored icons:
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.