Facebook has stopped pre-installing its apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram, on Huawei devices, even on existing models, Reuters reported. The company declined to comment on when the decision came into effect.
While all new phones that leave production lines reportedly won't have the apps installed, Huawei’s existing smartphone models still have access to the Google Play store for the coming three months, where they can be downloaded. After that, Huawei Android users will only be able to download Facebook apps via non-official stores. It's so far unclear if the US firm is going to combat those installations in any way.
Facebook’s move comes in light of a US crackdown on the Chinese tech giant. Washington has barred American companies from providing technologies, such as hardware and software, to Huawei.
This move led to Google ceasing Android support for existing Huawei devices and no longer providing the system for future models. However, in the face of a 90-day reprieve granted by the government, Google allowed existing Huawei smartphone models to continue receiving security updates and using the official Google Play store.
The US imposed bans on Huawei and has been pressuring its foreign allies to stop using the Chinese company's equipment, citing security concerns. Washington claims that Huawei installs backdoors on its equipment and software to help Beijing allegedly carry out espionage and cyberattacks.
The Chinese company has vehemently denied these accusations and has filed a suit against the US government over the said actions. The litigation efforts have been supported by Beijing, who is currently engaged in a trade war initiated by Washington in 2018. The trade dispute has already led to billions of dollars-worth of goods from both countries being slapped by hefty tariffs.