Facebook stops pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones

Customers who already have Huawei phones will still be able to use its apps and receive updates, Facebook said.
Customers who already have Huawei phones will still be able to use its apps and receive updates, Facebook said.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO • Facebook is no longer allowing the pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones, the latest blow to the Chinese technology giant as it struggles to keep its business afloat in the face of a US ban on its purchase of American parts and software.

Customers who already have Huawei phones will still be able to use its apps and receive updates, Facebook said.

However, new Huawei phones will no longer be able to have Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram apps pre-installed.

Smartphone vendors often enter business deals to pre-install popular apps such as Facebook.

Apps such as Twitter and Booking.com also come pre-installed on Huawei phones in many markets.

The move by Facebook dampens the sales outlook for Huawei, whose smartphone business became its biggest revenue generator last year, powered by strong growth in Europe and Asia.

The Facebook ban applies to any Huawei phone that has not yet left the factory, according to a source.

 
 
 

Facebook declined to comment on when the suspension took place.

Last month, Washington banned US companies from supplying technology to Huawei, part of a long-running campaign against the company.

The United States alleges that Huawei is too close to the Chinese government, and that its telecommunications network gear and other products could be a conduit for espionage, which the com-pany denies.

Buyers of current Huawei smartphone models that do not have Facebook pre-installed would still be able to download it from the Google Play store.

Future versions of the company's phones, however, will not have access to the Google Play store and its apps unless the US government changes course.

Huawei has said it is prepared for the US action and has vowed to work around any disruption.

However, some customers at stores in Europe and Asia have said that they are reluctant to buy Huawei phones in the face of uncertainties, and analysts expect a dramatic drop in Huawei smartphone sales.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2019, with the headline 'Facebook stops pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones'. Print Edition | Subscribe