Facebook secretly launches app in China

Facebook secretly launches app in China
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that he would want to see the social network in China.
Published: 13 August 2017 - 9:32 a.m.
By: Aasha Bodhani

Facebook has released a photo sharing app in China dubbed Colorful Balloons, despite that the social networking site has been banned largely since 2009.

According to The New York Times, in May this year, Facebook secretly launched the app and it appears to mirror Facebook's Moments feature, however it does not feature any Facebook branding.

Facebook's Colorful Balloons works alongside China's popular social network, WeChat, and enables users to share photos with friends and family members.

Facebook offered a statement, but does not confirm or deny its involvement. "We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways," a spokesperson reveals. 

To avoid being linked to the app, Facebook released Colorful Balloons using a local Chinese company called Youge Internet Technology. The app features in China's App Store but it supposedly is not easy to share with outsiders.  

China's censorship laws means that certain websites are blocked in the country, however Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that he would want to see the social network in China.

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp was recently reported as blocked in China as many users had faced problems sending photos, videos and voice messages.

Related: WhatsApp faces block in China

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