Facebook hits China via Colorful Balloons
No matter how much Mark Zuckerberg struggled in the past to conquer China, Facebook and many of its apps did not manage to go through the tough local censorship. Now, it looks like the company is taking the long road by releasing its products in the country through a local partner.
An anonymous source who spoke to The New York Times reveals that "Facebook approved the May debut of a photo-sharing app, called Colorful Balloons, in China" and this app "shares the look, function and feel of Facebook’s Moments app." While Facebook Moments connects users via the company's social network, Colorful Balloons uses China's most popular social network, namely WeChat.
For now, it is not clear if China's internet regulators approved this app knowing who is behind it or not. When asked about this, Facebook did not confirm or deny its involvement in the Colorful Balloons app.
According to Apple's app store, the company that launched Colorful Balloons is called Youge Internet Technology. Its executive director is Zhang Jingmei, a woman who recently appeared in a photo showing a meeting between Shanghai officials and Facebook. However, there is no official information about her position in Facebook - she might be an employee, an external adviser, or none of these.