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Huawei receives another blow: No Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp apps on Android devices

Published Jun 7th, 2019 6:50AM EDT
USA vs. Huawei
Image: JEROME FAVRE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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Huawei has had a bad few weeks, as US companies responded to the Trump ban one after another. Whether it’s hardware such as chips from Intel or ARM, or whether it’s software like Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows, Huawei can’t import it from American technology companies until the ban is resolved. And Facebook is the latest big name in tech that responded to the prohibition by suspending app preinstalls on Huawei phones that are yet to leave factories. The move means nothing for Huawei’s Chinese market, but not being able to preload apps like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, all Facebook properties on Huawei devices sold in other international markets can be a massive problem for the company.

Huawei isn’t giving up without a fight, challenging the ban in US courts. Meanwhile, the company reportedly has enough supplies to continue smartphone production during the ban and has dispelled recent rumors that said it halted some smartphone lines. Also, Huawei is preparing the release of its operating system, as it’ll lose access to Google’s version of Android in some three months.

However, as we explained before, Huawei’s operating system is not a solution for any market but China, and that’s mainly because of the Play Store that comes with Google’s Android.

When it comes to Facebook’s apps, Huawei devices that are already in the hands of consumers will still be able to run the apps and receive regular software updates, Facebook told Reuters.

Also, any new Huawei device that ships without Facebook apps preloaded, but still has access to the Play Store app will be able to install the apps. But once the 90-day reprieve the US granted to Huawei expires in August, all Huawei phones leaving factories won’t have either Facebook apps or the Play Store app, preinstalled. Of course, that’s assuming that China and America do not come to a broad trade understanding until then, a deal that would also include Huawei.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.