The coronavirus outbreak has turned Chinese cities into ghost towns, as the majority of companies required employees to work from home, while schools and shopping centers were all closed.
Many schools, however, turned to online lessons, using homework apps that allowed teachers to connect with students. One of them is DingTalk, an application developed by Alibaba Group and recently updated with new features specifically tailored for online classrooms, including live streaming.
But being forced to study at home isn’t every kid’s cup of tea, so many of the students turned to a rather clever trick to extend their vacation: they’re invading the app’s listing in the App Store with one-star ratings in an attempt to convince Apple to remove it.
Once the app is removed, they can no longer download it, technically kicking their online classrooms offline.
App rating collapsing
At the time of writing, the overall rating of DingTalk fell to 2.2 points out of a maximum of 5, with the majority of one-star reviews posted after the Chinese New Year holiday came to an end and everyone was supposed to return to school.
“One star for misuse in school. I hate it for work, my children hate it for school,” one user says in a review posted in the App Store.
“5 stars in installments. To be honest the app is pretty nice. It helps online work more effective. But it has been chosen by some mysterious force as the hatred of China’s education industry. Because of you, Chinese students have to have a full holiday,” another one adds.
The app has received over 1,500 reviews in the App Store, and there’s a chance this number would further increase depending on how long the students are forced to stay at home and use DingTalk for studying remotely.