China's anti-corruption app a big hit with whistleblowers

BEIJING - An anti-corruption app has led to an instant increase in the number of public reports on graft in China since its launch last Thursday.

Nearly 700 reports were submitted on the first day after China's top anti-corruption watchdog released the app, which allows the public to report evidence of official corruption.

The anti-corruption watchdog says nearly 70 per cent of the reports were communicated via snapshots, text messages or videos uploaded through the new app. There were only around 250 to 300 cases per day before that.

The app allows the public to report any corruption cases involving Chinese officials who misuse public funds or vehicles, or break any of the frugality rules.

The watchdog says the app opens a faster and more convenient channel for the public to report graft and scrutinise officials. The watchdog has also set up a response mechanism, which categorises the reports, refers them to higher authorities and responds to whistleblowers.

Graft oils the wheels of the government and party at almost every level in China, which ranked 100th out of 175 countries and territories on Transparency International's 2014 corruption perceptions index, where a higher ranking means a cleaner public sector.

President Xi Jinping has spent the past three years waging war on corruption, saying that it threatens the Communist Party's very survival.

Scores of senior officials in the party, the government, the military and state- owned enterprises have been brought down by the campaign so far.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'China's anti-corruption app a big hit with whistleblowers'. Print Edition | Subscribe