Facebook apps won't come pre-installed on new Huawei devices

(Image credit: Facebook) (Image credit: Image Credit: Facebook)

Huawei devices will no longer ship with Facebook applications pre-installed in the latest blow for the beleaguered Chinese smartphone vendor.

Reuters says the development affects not only Facebook’s core social networking app, but also other services such as Instagram and WhatsApp

Existing users will be able to access the applications and receive updates, however, while it will also still be possible to manually download the apps from the Google Play store. 

Huawei Facebook

Although the inability to pre-load Facebook apps is not as serious as a lack of Android updates or access to components, it does demonstrate the scale of the challenge presented to Huawei by the US government.

It also demonstrates the different interpretations of the ruling. Whereas Google will continue to provide updates to existing Huawei smartphone models – even ones that haven’t been built yet – Facebook apps are affected immediately.

Last month, US firms were ordered to stop doing business with the company, a decision which means future handsets may no longer receive updates for Google's Android operating system or access its popular applications.

The US government’s actions also make it significantly harder for Huawei to source components for its devices, with British-based chip designer ARM ceasing work on existing contracts with the company.

Huawei’s issues in the smartphone market stem from its networking business. Huawei has long been effectively been frozen out of the US telecoms market due to fears that its equipment is a national security risk, allegations that it has continually denied.

The US has never produced any proof to support its claims but is urging its allies to follow its lead – an approach which has led to mixed results.

Via Reuters

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.