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Facebook sneaks into China with photo sharing app

12 August 2017, 09:17 | Megan Pierce

Facebook sneaks into China with photo sharing app

Facebook sneaks into China with photo sharing app

But it has reportedly found a workaround in the form of Colorful Balloons.

In its latest attempt to have an indirect presence in China, Facebook has authorized a local company to launch a photo-sharing application in the country in May, a new report has claimed.

Colorful Balloons looks and operates nearly exactly like the Moments app, except without any mention of Facebook, so much so that it could easily be considered a local clone.

The app has been created to collate photos from the photo albums of smartphones and share them. Released by a company named Youge Internet Technology, Colorful Balloons has not been reported in any form since The Times picked it up, and there's fear that China might now take notice and implement appropriate action.

However, 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.

Neither she nor Facebook issued any statement regarding the possibility of a partnership between the two.

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It is unclear whether China's internet regulators were aware of the app's existence.

Paul Mozur of TheNYT was able to detect the clandestine, worldwide business maneuver by comparing Facebook's Moments app to the one being tested in China.

In 2009, Chinese authorities banned Facebook in China, followed by Instagram its app for photo-sharing in 2014, and WhatsApp its messaging app was partially banned just last month.

Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg has made high-profile visits to China and met with political leaders there, and is even studying Mandarin.

China's internet censorship has left big players like Facebook, Apple and Google out of the huge Chinese market with an audience of more than 700 million internet users.

Earlier this week, Chinese officials announced they are probing social media sites WeChat and Weibo amongst others for not following policy related to censorship and content.



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