Facebook secretly enters China’s online market via local firm

– Desperate to break into the Chinese market, Facebook has discreetly developed and rolled out a photo-sharing app called “Colorful Balloons”. The app has no Facebook branding and was released through a local Chinese firm, Deutsche Welle reports.

Facebook has been banned in China since 2009, although that doesn’t appear to have stopped the tech giant from seeking out new ways to enter the world’s largest online market.

On Friday, August 11, The New York Times newspaper reported that Facebook had taken the unusual step of secretly developing a photo-sharing application and releasing it through a local Chinese company called Youge Internet.

The app, called “Colorful Balloons,” shows no signs of any affiliation with Facebook, bar the fact that it has similar features to the social network’s Moments application.

The app was released in China earlier this year, without any prominent company or name associated with it.

“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 representative for Facebook said in a statement.

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