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?
The report claims Facebook might be trying a new way to get into China: by giving the greenlight for a local company to release a new app that doesn't share Facebook's name. The app looks eerily similar to the company's Moments app.
The stealthy and anonymous release of an app by a major foreign technology company in China is unprecedented.
China, the world's largest market by internet users, is an attractive but challenging region for internet companies. It also underscores the lengths they are willing to go, and their increasing acceptance of the idea that standards for operating in China are different from elsewhere. 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.
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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.
Facebook had to use audacious methods to circumvent the obstacles the Chinese government imposes. In the photo, she was sitting beside Wang-Li Moser an executive with Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook has made it a big point of having meetings with politicians in China, studying the propaganda of the Communist Party, Mandarin and even talking it while in public. Zhang's presence at such a high-level meeting indicated she is likely a Facebook adviser or employee. Colorful Balloons instead links users through China's biggest social network, WeChat.
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.