Published: Fri, June 07, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Facebook will not come pre-installed in Huawei devices

Facebook will not come pre-installed in Huawei devices

Huawei phone users will still be able to download apps owned by Facebook - including WhatsApp and Instagram - but the Chinese firm's devices will no longer include them out of the box. Huawei usually pre-installs apps such as Facebook and Twitter on its handsets.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move by Facebook dampens the sales outlook for Huawei Technologies, whose smartphone business became its biggest revenue generator in 2018, powered by strong growth in Europe and Asia.

Facebook is the latest in a string of USA companies who have suspended their business with Huawei following the placement of the Chinese company on the Entity List.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the Facebook ban applies to any Huawei phone that has not left the factory.

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The crackdown would free up network capacity and cut the number of consumers being scammed by criminals, he said. One of its tools, a free app known as Call Protect, requires users to download and enable it.

However, customers who buy Huawei smartphones now in circulation will still be able to download and install the application manually from the Google Play Store.

The issue stems from a U.S. trade ban, implemented this year, which prevents United States firms from exporting technology products and software to Huawei on the grounds of national security. The US alleges that Huawei is too close to the Chinese government and that its telecom network gear and other products could be a conduit for espionage, which Huawei denies. Facebook said the company's apps will continue work and receive updates for existing users, but new users who get new (and existing) phones, won't be able to get the apps pre-installed.

Google has been granted a temporary licence to support and update the Android software now running on existing Huawei phones, although this expires in August.

Huawei has said it was prepared for the United States action and vowed to work around any disruptions.

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