Facebook covertly launches a mobile app in China

By : |August 14, 2017 0

Facebook, which has largely been banned in China since 2009, has found a way to sneak in the country. The social networking company has quietly launched an app called Colorful Balloons that behaves very much like company’s own Moments, according to a report by New York Times. The app was released through a separate local company- Youge Internet Technology and without any hint that the social network is affiliated with it.

CIOL The image shows similarity between the new app launched by Facebook and Moments appNY Times

“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways,” the company said in a statement to Times. “Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside of China by using our ad platform.”

China had blocked Facebook in 2009 and partially blocked WhatsApp in July this year. Since then, the company has been trying to find a way back into the country. The NY Times describes this quiet rollout as “unprecedented,” and that it demonstrates the effort that tech companies will undertake to try and gain a foothold into China and its population of 700 million internet users. It’s not certain if China’s regulators were aware of the app, let alone who is behind it. And this stealth mode could very well pose new problems for the company.

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It’s not certain if China’s regulators were aware of the app, let alone who is behind it, which could very well pose new problems for the company in the country. We don’t know how the official government will react to Facebook’s sneaky ways but the risk involved is too high and could wash away all that Mark Zuckerberg recent visits tried to achieve.

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