Jun 12, 2019

Facebook Nixes HUAWEI as Bans Continue

In the latest in a series of blows to HUAWEI, Facebook announces that it will no longer include pre-installed apps in HUAWEI phones.

This comes in the face of the American government's ban on the Chinese tech giant, prohibiting the company from purchasing U.S. hardware and software.

Those who already purchased HUAWEI phones prior to the ban will be able to keep the Facebook apps and even receive updates. However, brand-new HUAWEI phones will not have these apps pre-installed. Aside from Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are also included in the ban.

Facebook has been the latest to defer to the ban. Earlier, Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc. had announced that it will stop providing software to HUAWEI this August when the 90-day reprieve granted by the U.S. expired. For Google, this will only include upcoming devices; devices that are currently available or about to be shipped will still include the Android OS and other Google software.

Facebook's suspension is much more stringent. It will include all phones that have yet to be shipped, even current models. HUAWEI users may still be able to download Facebook on their own using the Google Play Store. But once Google's own reprieve expires, it will be a lot harder to get these apps, unless there's a change in U.S. policy.

This move by Facebook means that the sales outlook for HUAWEI devices is becoming even bleaker. Last year, HUAWEI's smartphone arm was its biggest revenue generator, and HUAWEI enjoyed exponential growth in new markets in Europe and Asia.

However, HUAWEI has become one of the most visible casualties of America's ongoing trade war with China. The current U.S. Administration has banned American companies from providing tech to HUAWEI, citing allegations that the company is working too closely with the Chinese government, and its devices can be used to spy on American assets. HUAWEI denies the allegations.

The damage inflicted to HUAWEI is becoming quite visible. Recently, smartphone dealers in the U.K. and Japan also postponed the launch of new HUAWEI phones. Other players, such as Nokia, are closing 5G contracts that HUAWEI could have easily snagged just a year before.

HUAWEI has not officially commented on Facebook and Google's current moves, but it is known that the company is developing its own operating system, as a backup. It still hopes there's a way to continue operating within Google and Microsoft ecosystems.