Facebook tries to enter China incognito

Doris Richards
August 12, 2017

On Friday, August 11, The New York Times newspaper reported that Facebook had taken the unusual step of secretly developing a photo-sharing application and releasing it through a local Chinese company called Youge Internet.

Facebook, which, as its program blocked in China to bypass censorship released app without their logo and name.

The photo-sharing app, called Colorful Balloons, was released in May to help Facebook enter a market that it's been blocked from since 2009, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Breaking the precedents, Facebook quietly launched an app in China in May this year. However, tech companies are incessantly striving to get into China.

To change that, Mark Zuckerberg has made a big point of meeting with Chinese politicians, reading Communist Party propaganda, studying and speaking Mandarin.

The real confirmation comes in the fact that Facebook not only didn't deny the report, but responded with a comment saying "We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways".

China, the world's largest market by internet users, is an attractive but challenging region for internet companies.

It was unclear if China's various internet regulators were aware of the app's existence, the Times said. It is registered to an address in eastern Beijing, yet the room number listed in company registration documents could not be found amid a series of shabby, small offices on the building's fourth floor.

Last month, in a crackdown on Internet services by the government, Apple had removed all major VPN apps from the App Store in China. In the photo, she was sitting beside Wang-Li Moser an executive with Facebook. The Chinese app even uses the messaging platform WeChat for connecting users in place of Facebook's network.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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