In an effort to enter the high potential Chinese online market, Facebook is ready to launch its app “Colourful Balloons” in China. The app does not carry anything related to Facebook, visually.
The New York Times on Saturday reported that the app launched in china shares the look, functionality and feel with the Facebook’s Moment App. Most of the popular social media platforms are banned in china. Facebook was banned in 2009, followed by Instagram in 2014 and now WhatsApp was partially blocked in the month of July 2017. China houses 700 plus million internet users. China’s Internet policy has kept giants like Google, Apple and Facebook from crossing the Chinese borders. People travelling to china usually resort to free vpn services to access services like google, gmail and youtube.
The Colourful Balloons app, is designed to collate and share photos from your smartphone. It was released in May 2017 by a local Chinese company named Youge Internet Technology. This company is officially registered in china to an address in eastern Beijing. There is no hint of any affiliation with Facebook. The address mentioned in the documents is on the fourth floor of a shabby building housing a number of offices. Upon further investigation, the room number listed on the documents could not be located on the building’s fourth floor. The listed director of Youge Internet Technology is a woman named Zhang Jingmei. She first was spotted in a photo of a meeting which was held between Facebook officials and the Shanghai government. In the photo she was sitting next to Wang-Li Moser, who is a Facebook executive. This gives a not so clear indication that she is associated with the company or Facebook.
Facebook however, has not issued any official statement about this alliance. It seems that the Chinese Internet regulatory authority has not been aware of the app’s existence in the Chinese market. Facebook can land in controversies and a heap of trouble with the Chinese Authorities, as China maintains a strict control over such foreign Social Media Platform entering Chinese internet market.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has continuously made efforts to impress and convince Chinese authorities. He is learning Mandarin and has spoken in public in Chinese. China Still lives on the home grown social platforms like baidu (Googles Equivalent), WeChat (WhatsApps Equivalent), youku (YouTube’s Equivalent).
Let us hope that China lets Facebook and other companies enter the Chinese market. This will not only help the China and its Internet users but will largely impact the business growth, globally.