Warns of fraud before it happens an application that achieves a million spread in China

Warns of fraud before it happens an application that achieves a million spread in China

Chen Guoping, an ordinary police officer, serves in Qinhuangdao, north China's Hebei Province. Contrary to the calm atmosphere that characterizes the coastal city, Chen's life seems tumultuous on social media platforms; He spends hours on live broadcasts talking about cybercrime, and is determined to "save the Chinese public from online fraud," he says.

The Chinese police officer, who usually appears in his official clothes, recounts dozens of fraud stories that people have been subjected to, and cost them thousands of losses. Websites.

How the application works
The Criminal Investigation Department of China's Ministry of Public Security, which developed the app, says it integrates various functions such as uploading reports, reporting evidence, fraud warning, identity verification, and anti-fraud propaganda; It is designed to remind users of suspected fraudulent activities in various forms, including phone calls, text messages, or suspicious apps and websites.

The application also provides a convenient reporting service in case users fall victim to suspicious activities during their daily lives. Dozens of anti-fraud lectures are also included in the app.

The application can scan the contents of smartphones, and then identify suspicious fraudulent applications installed in the phone.

China Central Broadcasting Corporation says the country handled about 185,000 communications fraud cases between January and July this year, up 40% from last year. Nearly 247,000 criminal suspects were arrested, and cases in June and July saw a dramatic drop of 12%.

First place
The British Financial Times reported that the application is installed on 200 million mobile phones in China, while the Chinese newspaper, Global Times, said that the application ranked first in the download list in the iOS app store. within China.

The Chinese police are carrying out campaigns that include workplaces, schools and universities in all Chinese provinces to explain the mechanism of the application's work, and urged citizens to install it in their mobile phones "to ensure the safety of people's property and reduce the number of cases of electronic fraud", according to what the relevant departments publish through their official accounts on Chinese social networking sites.

The Chinese police, through these platforms, report the experiences of people who have been defrauded in the absence of the application. Internet users circulated a story published by the police of a man from Shandong Province (eastern China) who deleted the application after finding it "annoying", as the application "reminds him that this person may be a fraud every time he talks to an acquaintance." But - after deleting the application - he was defrauded and took 200,000 yuan ($31,000) from him, according to the newspaper, "China News".

The secret of rapid spread
Officer Chen Guoping - who became the face of the government's campaign on social media to encourage downloading the application - succeeded in mobilizing Internet celebrities, especially through the Douyin platform, the Chinese version of the Tik Tok application.

State media reported that one of the officer's live broadcasts last September drew about 38 million viewers and 100 million likes on one evening.

According to Jian Lin - co-author of the book "Entertainment on Social Media in China" - official authorities have succeeded in using social media to build a more positive public image of this application.

He added that co-publishing the app is "a useful way for influencers to convince their followers that they represent - or at least conform to the expectations of - the authorities", describing it as a kind of "performative loyalty".

Despite the app's wide reach, there were some concerns about users' privacy. But the download page in the App Store sets out a user privacy policy, which states that "the collection and use of personal information will fully comply with the principles of protecting personal rights and interests," according to China's Global Times.
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