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  • An attendee at a conference takes a photograph of a sign during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose

    An attendee at a conference takes a photograph of a sign during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 June 2019

Buyers of current Huawei phone models that do not have Facebook pre-installed would still be able to download it from the Google Playstore.

Facebook Inc. is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones, another repercussion of the decision by the U.S to ban the Chinese tech giant's parts and software from being purchased by U.S. companies.

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Customers who already have Huawei phones will still be able to use its apps and receive updates, Facebook told Reuters. But new Huawei phones will no longer be able to have Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram apps pre-installed.

Smartphone vendors often enter business deals to pre-install popular apps such as Facebook. Apps including Twitter and Booking.com also come pre-installed on Huawei phones in many markets. Twitter declined to comment and Booking Holdings did not respond to a request.

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 declined to comment.

Alphabet Inc's Google said earlier that it would no longer provide Android software for Huawei phones after a 90-day reprieve granted by the U.S. government expires in August. But Google's Playstore and all Google apps will still be available for current models of Huawei phones including those which have not yet shipped or even been built.

The Facebook ban, by contrast, applies to any Huawei phone that has not yet left the factory, according to a person familiar with the matter. Facebook declined to comment on when the suspension took place.

The Chinese company has been been a target of the U.S. trade war on China that began in 2018. In May, Trump blacklisted Huawei on suspicion of espionage, a decision that prohibits the company from selling technological equipment in U.S. territory.

Buyers of current Huawei phone models that do not have Facebook pre-installed would still be able to download it from the Google Playstore. Future versions of Huawei phones, however, will not have access to the Google Playstore and its apps unless the U.S. government changes course.

Huawei has said it was prepared for the U.S. action and vowed to work around any disruptions. But some customers at stores in Europe and Asia have told Reuters that they are reluctant to buy Huawei phones in the face of uncertainties, and analysts expect a dramatic drop in Huawei smartphone sales.

Huawei filed a motion at the end of May in U.S. courts on grounds that the laws the Trump administration is using against it are unconstitutional. According to Huawei legal director, the U.S. actions against his company are “a dangerous precedent.” The director added, "today it is telecom and Huawei; tomorrow it could be your company, your industry, your customers."

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