Facebook pulls its pre-installed apps from new Huawei phones: Ban also affects Instagram and WhatsApp

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 Huawei’s woes continue to mount after reports claim Facebook has banned its app being preinstalled on its devices.

According to Reuters, customers who already own Huawei phones can still use its apps and will receive updates, including bug fixes and new features. However, any Huawei phone that is still in production will not have Facebook added to its app line-up. The claims are quoted as coming from “a person familiar with the matter” and neither Facebook nor Huawei is commenting on the specifics of the ban.

This is likely to extend to include WhatsApp and Instagram, both owned by parent company Facebook.

It is the latest blow for the Chinese firm following the American government banning US companies from trading with the phone maker.

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In May, Huawei was added to a list of entities covered by the Export Administration Regulations via an executive order by the US government. This forbids any US-based companies to trade or work with Huawei unless they apply for a licence from the Bureau of Industry and Security under the US Department of Commerce.

Google was the first major company to revoke its deal with Huawei to provide its Android software to phone and tablets under both the Huawei and Honor branding. A week after the executive order was filed, Huawei was given a slight reprieve by being awarded a temporary licence to purchase US goods “as long as they are used to maintain existing networks and provide software updates.”

The temporary licence expires on 19 August.

The news follows claims in the Financial Times, that Google believes pulling support for Android from Huawei phones is a threat to US security.

Google is reportedly claiming that by removing support for the official software, Huawei would be forced to fork Android into a “hybrid” version that would be “more at risk of being hacked, not least by China.”

The company has already confirmed that its Play Store and apps will remain on Huawei devices, and Google will continue to provide security updates to existing software to keep it safe from hackers.

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