Baidu has an app to help students cheat

This can't go wrong!


Mike Wehner


Published Jul 16, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 10:54 pm CDT

Thanks to rigorous tests and plenty of homework, China has some of the smartest students of any country, but Chinese Internet giant Baidu is making it a bit easier for kids to skip their educational responsibilities by getting free help from their peers. The company’s new app called Homework Helper is a blessing for students. Mostly because it’s just plain cheating.

Even though the app launched just a few months ago, it already has upwards of 5 million downloads. Once installed, the app lets users take a photo of their homework or type the questions in one-by-one. The questions are then answered by other users in exchange for a digital currency that can be cashed in for prizes.

In short, it’s an app that incentivizes doing other people’s homework for them by rewarding users with gifts like iPhones and other pricey items. The student getting the “help” doesn’t actually learn anything, but gets answers for their homework anyway. Which is more colloquially known as “cheating.”

User reviews for the app are split largely between students who love the app because it cuts homework time down to nearly zero, and others—perhaps parents—decrying the app for usurping the efforts of schools and teachers. The kids using the app “simply do not want homework,” one fan wrote, while a detractor dramatically reviewed it saying “I worry about the next generation.”

It’s hard to argue that the app is actually helping students, and while there might be some users who utilize help from others to better understand the subject matter, it’s clear that many simply want someone else to do their schoolwork for them.

H/T qz | Photo via apdk/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jul 16, 2014, 5:09 pm CDT