Huawei smartphones will no longer be able to ship with WhatsApp, Instagram, or Facebook pre-installed, Facebook told Reuters.
Facebook said that customers who currently own Huawei smartphones will still be able to use these applications and will continue to receive updates, but new devices will not be allowed to have these applications installed on them by default.
However, customers who buy Huawei smartphones currently in circulation will still be able to download and install the application manually from the Google Play Store.
This could be a temporary measure though, as future versions of Huawei smartphones will not ship with the Google Play Store or Google-certified applications either.
These changes to Huawei’s deals with US companies come as a result of the company being placed on the US Entity List, which bans companies from conducting business with Huawei without express permission from the government.
Huawei has previously stated that it is prepared for these disruptions, and multiple reports show that it is working on its own operating system to ensure that its devices remain functional and compatible with Android applications.
Facebook is the latest in a string of US companies who have suspended their business with Huawei following the placement of the Chinese company on the Entity List.
These companies and organisations include Google, Intel, ARM, and various standards associations which present a challenge for the implementation of standardised smartphone technology.
Huawei has stated that it will continue to provide service and updates to South African Huawei owners and added that it will continue to work on developing a secure and sustainable software ecosystem to provide the best possible user experience worldwide.
It is unclear whether WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook would be compatible with Huawei’s backup operating system.
However, if circumstances do not change between the US and Huawei, the Chinese company would also be unable to ship Facebook’s software suite on its own operating system.
Huawei has not yet issued a statement regarding Facebook’s suspension of app pre-installs for its smartphones.
However, the company has told MyBroadband that the Android licence ban and its implications for Google app compatibility do not apply to current devices, including those still in stock at retailers.
“The products we have sold and currently sell will not be affected,” Huawei said, commenting on the use of Google services on its smartphones. “You will be able to continue using these services as you normally would.”
Huawei also confirmed that users would still be able to update their Google apps, and said it would still provide security updates and after-sales service to smartphones and tablets which have been sold or are in stock globally.
If Facebook’s suspension is applied in a similar way, then existing Huawei smartphones such as the P30 and P30 Pro could still be sold with WhatsApp and only newer devices may be sold without the app pre-installed.