China’s bid to influence U.S. politics is once again in the spotlight after a popular news app’s algorithm created a fake story that was pushed out to American users.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, NewsBreak has been exposed for its algorithm’s Chinese roots. Multiple employees at the company purportedly told Reuters that the algorithm was mostly developed in China, where NewsBreak maintains offices despite being officially based in California.

The embarrassing episode raises questions about the veracity of the company’s news articles but also hints at wider issues with Chinese involvement in media consumed by Americans.

CGTN is an English-language news channel that is part of the state-run China Global Television Network. It is headquartered in Beijing, China. In 2022, the Council on Foreign Relations asserted that China had spent $280 million over the previous six years to influence U.S. culture and politics. More than half of that spending was associated with CGTN.

China is also influencing university associations geared toward students of Chinese background to influence the political climate on college campuses and even some public schools, as previously reported by DX.

The pro-democracy group Freedom House has also been keeping tabs on Beijing’s media influence in the United States.

“Chinese state media content reaches news consumers in the United States directly through offline and online paid inserts from China Daily or the Xinhua news agency in national and regional news outlets, such as Time magazine, the Los Angeles TimesUSA Today, CNN, and Foreign Policy,” Freedom House wrote in 2022.

Freedom House also touched on NewsBreak in its analysis.

“One other app with ties to the Chinese tech sector that gained popularity in the United States during the coverage period was NewsBreak, a news aggregator that focuses mostly on local news personalized by an algorithm. It ranked third for downloads in that category in the US Apple Store in 2021. In 2020, the app reportedly had 23.7 million installs,” Freedom House wrote.

One local Republican leader had choice words for the alleged Chinese attempt to influence American media.

“The Chinese Communist Party are our enemies. They are playing a long game of infiltrating our country and using their technology to brainwash our young. There is no circumstance where we should tolerate influence over American media,” Tarrant County Republican Party Chair Bo French previously told DX.

DX reached out to NewsBreak’s COO and senior business development manager but did not receive a response.