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The State Council app is the top app in the news section in China's iOS App Store.

Why one of China’s hottest apps is from the government

Promotion boosts government app up the iOS App Store charts

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

One of the most popular apps in China right now is full of information… about government meetings.

The official app for China’s State Council is described as “a platform for people around the world to interact with the Chinese government, in particular, with the Chinese Premier.” It now ranks fourth among free apps on China’s iOS App Store.

The app is in both Chinese and English, with a news section full of articles about the country’s leaders, as well as recaps and excerpts of meetings. And the policy information section tells you how to get a visa or insurance in China.

The State Council app is the top app in the news section in China's iOS App Store.

The app has been out for two years, but surged up the App Store charts recently. So why is the app suddenly more popular than WeChat?

It probably has something to do with a special promotional contest: 300MB worth of free data if users download it and ace a quiz about the government’s annual report on the app’s front page.

There are plenty of trending stories on WeChat with answers to the quiz, but judging by user reviews on the iOS App Store, the questions aren’t hard.

One review said “If you couldn’t get your data, your intelligence needs some work.”

This is version 3.0 of the app, and the government is giving it a huge marketing push.

Others are more critical or sarcastic, but some have come to the app’s defense.

A user wrote, “Tone it down, haters. [The free data] is a means of marketing... I am not so repelled by such marketing. I support it.”

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