Facebook connects billions of people across the globe but it has so far not been able to gain any ground in the world’s most populated country. China has banned Facebook since 2009 go so the social network has no official presence in the country that counts more than a billion people as its citizens. This doesn’t mean that the social network sits around and does nothing. According to a new report, Facebook has secretly been testing a new app in China.

The New York Times reports that Facebook has released a photo sharing app in China called Colorful Balloons. As far as the app’s features are concerned, it’s quite similar to Facebook’s own Moments app in that respect but doesn’t carry any of the branding that would give away that it’s a Facebook app.

In its response to the Times’ report, Facebook doesn’t confirm or deny that it’s involved in this test. “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 spokesperson for the company said.

Zhang Jingmei is believed to have developed this app and has reportedly attended at least one important meeting between Facebook and officials in China. There’s a possibility that she might be in an advisory position at Facebook or perhaps even an employee.

It’s unclear if the regulators in China are aware of this, if they weren’t and Facebook has indeed been secretly testing an app to see how internet users in China share content, that’s going to lead to some tough discussions the next time officials from both sides meet.

Filed in General. Read more about Facebook and _cold. Source: nytimes

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