Facebook OKs local firm's launch of Moments-like app in China

14 Août, 2017, 04:31 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping center talks with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg right as Lu Wei left China's Internet czar looks on during a gathering of CEOs and other executives at Microsoft's main campus in Redmond Wash

Facebook and many of its apps have been blocked in China for years.

The company declined to confirm the details of the app which could help Facebook study how Chinese users share information and use social media in order to organize their next move to convince censors to allow the network into the country.

In 2009 and due to the Great Firewall of China, Facebook was banned in the country. The app looks and feels nearly exactly like Facebook's Moments app, but has been renamed to disguise any hint of its affiliation with the Zuckerberg-founded company.

The app was released in China by a company called Youge Internet Technology and without any hint that Facebook is affiliated with the company, the Times said, citing a post in Apple's app store. This is the first time that Facebook's is related with Colorful Balloon's launch. But the Facebook name is nowhere to be seen.

Zuckerberg - who also learned to speak Mandarin, although many of his visit to the country were forbidden - has been working and meeting with government officials to reintroduce the social network into the communist country that has a population of 700 million internet users. This could represent a huge problem for the country since they might not like the idea of Facebook taking advantage, even if the app avoids local censorship laws.

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The app has a few distinct features that cater to the Chinese market.

Facebook has either confirmed any explicit relation between the not-so-secret application, according to a statement to The New York Times.

In their place, Chinese developers have created similar platforms.

"We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways", the company said to Bloomberg.

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