Alibaba Group Holding said its DingTalk open technology platform is used to create thousands of apps, in response to a Reuters report about its role in a popular Chinese government propaganda app. Reuters reported on Monday that Xuexi Qiangguo, translated as “Study powerful country” in Mandarin, was developed and maintained by Alibaba staff using DingTalk’s software – the e-commerce giant’s own enterprise communication and collaboration platform. Released by the Communist Party’s publicity department in January, Xuexi Qiangguo mostly serves as a news aggregation platform for articles, short video clips and documentaries about President Xi Jinping’s political philosophy. Xuexi Qiangguo has become the most downloaded app on Apple’s domestic App Store, surpassing in demand social media apps such as WeChat and TikTok – known as Weixin and Douyin, respectively, in mainland China. “Tens of thousands of companies and organisations have developed and are developing applications based on the DingTalk platform,” said a DingTalk spokeswoman in a statement, without referring to Xuexi Qiangguo. “That is testament to its strong, reliable infrastructure and ease-of-use.” Calls to the publicity department of the Communist Party went unanswered. New York-listed Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company that has businesses in everything from payments to messaging apps, is also the parent company of the South China Morning Post . The Reuters report comes amid heightened scrutiny in the west of Chinese technology companies over their ties with the Chinese government. In November last year, it was widely reported by western media that Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma had been a member of the 90-million strong Communist Party in China since he was a university student. Though a Party member, Ma is neither a delegate to the National People’s Congress nor a member of China’s top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and has not held an official government post.