Facebook discretely fields China photo-sharing app

Facebook discretely fields China photo-sharing app

Facebook anonymously launched a new photo-sharing app in China in a new effort to make inroads in the world's most populous country.

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, which is created to collate photos from a smartphone's photo albums and then share them, was released by a local company called Youge Internet Technology, which is registered to an address in eastern Beijing, without any hint of affiliation with Facebook. A person who knows about the plans of Facebook, Inc. said on the condition of anonymity, the tech giant released Colorful Balloons, a photo sharing application in China through a local tech company, Youge Internet Technology. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has courted Chinese officials for years, and even spent one year learning to speak Mandarin.

It was unclear if China's various internet regulators were aware of the app's existence, the Times said.

Congress sends invites for Opposition satyagraha in Gujarat
On his part, Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said NCP chief Pawar was unwell and he had spoken to him ahead of the meeting. The reason, sources said, might be the NCP being miffed with the Congress after it expressed doubt over its integrity.

Facebook had to use audacious methods to circumvent the obstacles the Chinese government imposes.

China and its strict censorship laws have banned western internet media and social platforms like Twitter, Google, and especially Facebook, but the latter has recently managed to work its way through the country's "Great Firewall." How? Zhang's presence at such a high-level meeting indicated she is likely a Facebook adviser or employee. However, tech companies are incessantly striving to get into China. Colorful Balloons instead links users through China's biggest social network, WeChat.

It appears this was far more than a knockoff app, however.

The risk Facebook is taking with the new app is high. Coming just ahead of a key meeting of the Chinese Communist Party this autumn, the secretive release of Colorful Balloons could also undermine trust between the company and the Chinese government. It was released through a separate company without any hint of Facebook's affiliation.

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