Huawei has had a bad few weeks, as American companies responded to the Trump ban. Whether it’s hardware such as chips from Intel or ARM, or whether it’s software like Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows, Huawei can’t import it from American technology companies until the ban is resolved. Facebook is the latest big name in tech that responded to the prohibition by suspending app preinstalls on Huawei phones that are yet to leave factories. The move means nothing for Huawei’s Chinese market, but not being able to preload apps like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, all Facebook properties on Huawei devices sold in other international markets can be a massive problem for the company.
“We are reviewing the Commerce Department’s final rule and the more recently issued temporary general license and taking steps to ensure compliance,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP.
The move by Facebook is the latest to isolate Huawei, which had become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor despite security concerns voiced in Washington. The California company said people with existing Huawei smartphones with Facebook apps will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Facebook.
Google last month said it would cut ties to Huawei, making it harder to obtain major apps from the US giant. The decision would leave Huawei without the Play Store, the marketplace for most Android apps, and other elements of the mobile operating system.
Facebook — which is banned in China but has more than two billion users worldwide — said its decision would affect its core social network as well as applications such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, which each have at least one billion users.