Facebook Huawei ban is the latest blow for the Chinese tech giant as it struggles to keep its business afloat in the face of a global tussle between the US and China.
Facebook has taken steps to stop its apps being pre-installed on Huawei smartphones. The ban covers the main Facebook app, as well as apps from its subsidiary companies WhatsApp and Instagram. This means Huawei won’t be able to include them out of the box, which it typically does alongside various other pre-loaded services like Twitter.
People who already own a Huawei phone and have the relevant apps installed can still continue to use them. Facebook said they would also continue to supply updates to existing users on Huawei phones.
Buyers of Huawei phone models that do not have Facebook pre-installed would still be able to download the apps from the Google Playstore and install them on their Huawei smartphones. However, this option will no longer be available if Google restricts access by Huawei phones to its Play store in the future, when the Huawei Google ban becomes permanent.
But if Huawei users should lose access to the Google Play Store – as is possible after the current grace period ends – it would require a legal relationship with Facebook in order to list Facebook apps for download via its own Android-based operating system, which they claim to have been building after a U.S. ban on ZTE .
If Facebook does not enter into such a deal with Huawei, users of Huawei smartphones in Nigeria and elsewhere would lose one-click access to WhatsApp, Instagram, and the Facebook app.
The apps would still be available by downloading the apk versions of the mobile apps – which requires users to track down safe versions to download themselves, turning off some security features on their phones, and manually keeping apps up to date.
The move by Facebook dampens the sales outlook for Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, whose smartphone business became its biggest revenue generator last year, powered by strong growth in Europe and Asia.
Huawei has said it was prepared for the U.S. action and vowed to work around any disruptions. But with the look of things, some customers are becoming reluctant to buy Huawei phones in the face of uncertainties, and analysts expect a dramatic drop in Huawei smartphone sales.