Facebook launches "secret" app to dodge the bans in China

Reuters

Colorful Balloons is an app that is extremely similar to the Moments app from Facebook. She was spotted sitting next to Facebook executive Wang-Li Moser during the company's recent meet with the Shanghai government.

In one of the email responses, a representative of Facebook replied that the company has always been fascinated with China and were trying to understand and learn in depth the different ways of China. It shows the desperation - and frustration - of global tech companies as they try to break into the world's largest online market.

Facebook has long struggled to enter the Chinese market, with attempts to learn Mandarin and negotiate with Chinese authorities rendering no success.

While Facebook had been banned from China since July 2009, it worked with Chinese brands and developers looking to expand outside of their domestic market through Facebook's ad platform. Since then, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been working to find a way to get the social network reintroduced into the country, meeting with governmental officials and reportedly working on software for the country that helps suppress posts from appearing in a specific geographic area. More than 700 million internet users in the country are now being served by local tech companies, without the likes of Google, YouTube, and Twitter. Facebook is not the sole internet company under China's censorship; Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Yahoo! and Google has all been blocked in the country as well. Even if the app abides by social-media laws prevailing in the country, Beijing might balk the idea of going behind its back.

Facebook's intent to return and relaunch in the Chinese region is not a secret especially to the government of China.

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