Facebook Quietly Released A Photo-Sharing App In China

Reuters

Reuters

But it has reportedly found a workaround in the form of Colorful Balloons. She appeared in a photo taken at a meeting held between officials at Facebook and the government of Shanghai.

Paul Mozur of The New York Times recently unearthed the app Colorful Balloons in Apple's Chinese App Store and noticed how similar it looked to Facebook's existing photo sharing app, Moments.

Facebook isn't welcome in China, but that hasn't stopped the social media giant from managing to establish presence one way or another.

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.

The photo-sharing app, called Colorful Balloons, was released in May to help Facebook enter a market that it has been blocked from since 2009, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Facebook approved the release in May. Rather than interfacing with Facebook, the app works with the country's biggest social network, WeChat. It was released through a local Chinese company known as Youge Internet Technology.

And local companies have already stepped in to fill the social media void.

"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 Facebook representative said Friday in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform".