Facebook allows Moments-like app to be launched in China

Facebook allows Moments-like app to be launched in China

In May, Facebook quietly launched a photo-sharing app called Colorful Balloons in China, where the social networking site is banned, according to a report in The New York Times. Previously, the Chinese government blocked a number of products from Facebook, Inc.by dint of its Nazi internet policy.

In a bid to explore the high-potential Chinese online market, Facebook has authorised the release of a new app here that does not carry its name.

China, the world's largest market by internet users, is an attractive but challenging region for internet companies. The under-the-table approach could cause Facebook new difficulties with Chinese government that has maintained strict oversight and control over foreign tech companies. But it has reportedly found a workaround in the form of Colorful Balloons.

It was unclear if China's various internet regulators were aware of the app's existence, the Times said. The release of the app could give Facebook a better understanding of the social media habits of China's 700 million internet users.

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Instead, a company called "Youge LLC" is credited as the creator. The new app is a bit different from Moments, which connects users through Facebook. Even Colorful Balloons relies heavily on Chinese social platform WeChat to function.

The app, which is created to collate photos from a smartphone's photo albums and then share them, does so in China with the use of a QR code, a sort of bar code that is widely used by WeChat and other apps in the country. However, it seems like Facebook is trying to make sure the app doesn't spread photos widely, which could be a way to keep the project under the radar. And Colorful Balloon is the only app listed under the developer.

Facebook approved the release in May.

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