FACEBOOK HAS BECOME the latest company to take action against Huawei in order to comply with the recent executive order that effectively bans the firm from the USA.
The embattled vendor has already lost access to Google, Panasonic, WiFi, Bluetooth, SD cards, Intel, ARM and several other organisations. Now the attention turns to Facebook which is suspending its relationship with Huawei.
What this means is that Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp will be missing from new Huawei handsets, ending a relationship the stretches back several years.
The Facebook decision adds a further dimension of confusion. On one hand, Google is taking advantage of the 90-day moratorium it has been offered and is continuing to offer its services to Huawei until that expires.
But culling the Facebook apps takes effect immediately, meaning the stock of handsets already built and waiting for dispatch will need to be reflashed to reflect the changes, and that's a lot of faff when you scale it up; it makes that 90-day window even shorter.
Facebook et al can still be downloaded manually from the Google Play Store (for as long as there's still access), but it's not clear if the replacement Huawei Store (currently under construction) will carry the apps or not.
Although Facebook isn't a huge loss for Huawei in the great scheme of things, it represents another obstacle in any attempt to keep Huawei's handset business which, lest we forget, was thriving until a few weeks ago, up and running without any American influence. Or components. Or customers.
It could also be that Facebook has "blinked first" and a number of other key app developers could be about to show their hand. Booking.com and Twitter are amongst the other preloaded apps that could be affected.
Huawei is developing its own Ark OS, which it says will run Android apps seamlessly. Whether it reaches fruition and which ones, however, remain to be seen.
Ironically, given Facebook's less than stellar reputation on privacy, the removal of its apps from Huawei is likely to make it safer for their customers. μ
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