Face­book sneaks into China mar­ket

New Straits Times - - Business / World -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Face­book Inc has found a new way to en­ter China: se­cretly launch­ing an app un­der a dif­fer­ent name.

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

Face­book has said its goal of con­nect­ing the world would not be pos­si­ble with­out the world’s most pop­u­lated coun­try, but de­clined to con­firm the de­tails that were first re­ported by the New York Times.

“We have long said that we are in­ter­ested in China, and are spend­ing time un­der­stand­ing and learn­ing more about the coun­try in dif­fer­ent ways,” said the com­pany.

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

Face­book has long eyed China’s more than 700 mil­lion In­ter­net users who cur­rently use home­grown so­cial net­works, in­clud­ing Ten­cent Hold­ings’s WeChat. Bloomberg

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