Chinese Students Get Homework App Removed from Store With 1-Star Ratings During School Cancellation

Chinese students removed an app from the Apple App Store that teachers used to give students homework during the school suspensions in China amid the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

DingTalk, developed by Alibaba, expanded its service to provide help to teachers during the COVID-19 outbreak in China by giving them the chance to live stream classes and grade their students’ homework remotely, according to Shanghaiist.

However, the app, which was picked up by school systems in more than 300 cities in the country, suffered a major review bomb in the App Store. After hearing rumors that apps get deleted once it receives enough low ratings, several students immediately gave DingTalk one-star reviews. The app’s rating plummeted to 1.4 as a result.

As its rating took a nosedive, the app issued an apology video filled with memes and cartoon characters, singing a catchy tune with lyrics that begged for better reviews on Bilibili, TechNode reported.


A couple of lines from the song goes: “I know guys, you were not expecting such a productive holiday” and “Please don’t give me any more one-star ratings. I was chosen for this job and there is not much I can do about it.”

Their efforts proved to be fruitless. As the one-star dump took place, DingTalk also received five-star reviews from the older demographic, who were not thrilled about the idea of children skipping school.

The app was never removed from the App Store, even though its rating dropped to 1.4.

Chen Hang, the CEO of DingTalk, jokingly agreed with what the students did to skip online classes.

“It’s in kids’ nature to love to play,” Chen said. “If I were in their shoes and had to take online lessons every day, I would probably give a one-star review too.”

The students responded to DingTalk’s efforts to apologize and said they were willing to give the app five stars, but only in five “installments.”

Feature Image (left) via Shanghaiist, (right) Screenshot via Bilibili

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