"Huawei is the third largest mobile manufacturer globally and its devices are used by people all around the world, including in the United States. Facebook along with many other US tech companies have worked with them and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones," Facebook Vice President of mobile partnerships Francisco Varela said in a statement, as quoted by Politico media outlet.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Facebook established partnerships with a number of mobile device manufacturers over the past decade that granted them access to large amounts of user data. On Tuesday, US Senators John Thune and Bill Nelson said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been asked to provide additional information regarding his company’s handling of private user information in the wake of a new media report on the practice.
Varela added that Facebook had similar agreements with China's Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.
Facebook has faced widespread outrage as it emerged in March that personal data of about 50 million of its users had been harvested by the Cambridge Analytica consultancy firm without their permission through a special app. The information was allegedly used to help target political advertising. In early April, Facebook estimated that the number of users affected by data leak was around 87 million.