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Huawei crackdown

Facebook suspension deepens Huawei's app dilemma

Loss of social network on new phones threatens competitiveness in Europe

Facebook's services are banned in China, but the social network has over 2 billion users worldwide.   © Reuters

LAS VEGAS, U.S. -- Facebook will no longer allow its apps to come preinstalled on smartphones made by Huawei Technologies, a decision that deals another blow against a Chinese company hit by restrictions on access to American technology.

Besides Facebook, the suspension will also apply to the Whatsapp messenger and the Instagram photo-sharing app, a Facebook representative said Friday.

Preexisting Huawei devices will still be able to use Facebook and the two other apps, as well as receive security and other updates.

The U.S.-based tech group's move adds to the troubles for Huawei following the U.S. Commerce Department's decision last month to place China's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer on a procurement blacklist.

Google later said it would no longer allow Huawei access to updated versions of the Android operating system, on which the Chinese company's phones run. The Android ban means that buyers of new Huawei phones cannot simply download Facebook and the other apps from the Google Play store.

Experts have said that the Android lockout could result in a suspension of updates on third-party apps. Facebook often updates its apps to beef up privacy protection and other areas, and its decision on Huawei appears connected to concerns about maintaining the security of its services.

Though Facebook's services are banned in China, the social network has over 2 billion users worldwide. Many of them are in Europe, where Huawei holds large market shares in smartphones. 

Huawei Technologies is preparing to release its own mobile operating system, but even if it succeeds, its phones would risk losing competitive advantage if they did not come with Facebook.

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