Facebook sneaks into China with photo-sharing app Colorful Balloons

The company declined to confirm the details of the app which could help Facebook study how Chinese users share information and use social media in order to organize their next move to convince censors to allow the network into the country. Through its Colorful Moments app, Facebook could learn how to be more like the WeChats and Weibos of China.

Facebook and other major tech firms have been shunned from China for many years thanks to the country's strict censorship laws, often referred to as the Great Firewall.

The app was released in China by a company called Youge Internet Technology and without any hint that Facebook is affiliated with the company, the Times said, citing a post in Apple's app store. The app looks and feels nearly exactly like Facebook's Moments app, but has been renamed to disguise any hint of its affiliation with the Zuckerberg-founded company. But the Facebook name is nowhere to be seen. This is the first time that Facebook's is related with Colorful Balloon's launch. This really demonstrates the effort of online companies to form part of not just one country, but all the world. The Cyberspace Administration of China didn't respond to a request for comments from The New York Times.

In addition to Facebook, apps including Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram are banned from the country.

Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been launching a charm offensive on China in the last few years as he tries to woo Chinese authorities into opening its doors to the social network.

"We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways".

However, Zhang Jingme - who is believed to be the purported developer and Facebook's adviser or employee - has been present at one crucial meeting between Facebook and Chinese officials.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.