Aug 11, 2017

Facebook reportedly authorized copycat app for China

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook has signed off on a new photo-sharing app in China through a local company, the New York Times reports — absent any public ties to the tech giant. The Times published screen shots of the app, called Colorful Balloons, that looks similar to Facebook's Moments app.

Why it matters: Tech companies want in on the Chinese market, but that comes with rules — including an infamous censorship regime. Facebook has been trying to penetrate the country, with Zuckerberg learning Mandarin and making entreaties to officials. But its relationship with China remains complicated: China announced that Facebook-owned WhatsApp would be blocked in the country a few weeks ago. Facebook was banned in China in 2009.

Our thought bubble: The big question for companies here is whether they're willing to adhere to local regulations around the world even when they conflict with American norms.

What Facebook says: "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 a Facebook spokesperson. "Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform."

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Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.