Huawei app

Facebook suspension exacerbates Huawei’s app dilemma

LAS VEGAS, United States – Facebook will no longer allow pre-installation of its apps on Huawei Technologies smartphones, a move that deals another blow to a Chinese company hit by restrictions on access to American technology.

Besides Facebook, the suspension will also apply to Whatsapp messaging and the Instagram photo-sharing app, a Facebook representative said on Friday.

Pre-existing Huawei devices will still be able to use Facebook and the other two apps, as well as receive security and other updates.

The move by the US-based tech group compounds Huawei’s problems following the US Department of Commerce’s decision last month to place China’s largest telecommunications equipment maker on a procurement blacklist.

Google later said it would no longer allow Huawei access to updated versions of the Android operating system, which the Chinese company’s phones run on. Android’s ban means buyers of new Huawei phones can’t just download Facebook and other apps from the Google Play Store.

Experts said locking Android could cause updates to third-party apps to be suspended. Facebook often updates its apps to bolster privacy and other areas, and its decision on Huawei appears to be linked to concerns about keeping its services secure.

Although Facebook’s services are banned in China, the social network has more than 2 billion users worldwide. Many of them are in Europe, where Huawei has significant market shares in smartphones.

Huawei Technologies is set to release its own mobile operating system, but even if it succeeds, its phones would risk losing their competitive edge if they weren’t accompanied by Facebook.

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