Facebook vs Huawei: Next Stage In The Trade War?
Seems like Huawie’s nightmare in the U.S. market is not ending anytime soon. Now the social media giant, Facebook is banning Huawei from pre-installing their apps to future devices to be released by the Chinese Electronic giant. Huawei’s woes started with U.S. President Donald Trump’s Executive Order mandating U.S. companies to cease doing business with Huawei, which is accused of being a dummy of Beijing with its industrial espionage against western nations. The EO compelled Google, headquartered in Mountain View to cancel Google Play Services license of Huawei. Other Tech News sites wrongly reported that Google disqualified Huawei’s Android license, which is not true given that Android is an open-source project.
With the cancellation of Google Play Services, future Huawei devices may lack installation of Google Play Store, Gmail, Youtube and other Google apps. This was then followed with cancellation of license to use ARM SOCs to build Huawei’s future devices. With the Facebook ban, all future Huawei devices will not have a bundled Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Current devices from Huawei currently in the market still have guaranteed Google Play Services access, Facebook also made it clear that the ban does not cover Huawei devices that are currently being sold in the market.
Huawei P30 Pro, P30 and the rest of the line-up being sold by Huawei from the factory lack any pre-installed Facebook-owned apps. But the customers can download any app available through the installed Google Play Store. Alphabet, Google’s mother company has clarified earlier that there is a 90-days grace period provided by the U.S. before the Executive Order will be fully enforced. This means until the end of August, Huawei can still release new devices without the penalty imposed by the EO.
Although the EO only covers U.S. states and territories, the other markets where Huawei operates are now receiving lower mindshare for its devices. European and Asian people looking for replacement phones are steering from purchasing Huawei devices, for the fear that it will stop Google support, unable to update their phone apps as wrongly reported by some media outlets.
Huawei since 2018 is considered as the 2nd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world just behind Samsung and slightly ahead of Apple. It is the largest smartphone and one of the mainstream telecommunication device vendors in China. The company gained a lot of market share when it expanded its business outside of China, more particularly in Asia and Europe. The company’s smartphone has a very small market share in North America, before the U.S. started its trade war against China.
The company for years have denied links with the Beijing government, stressing that they are a for profit private firm which just happened to be headquartered in China. Huawei also hinted of releasing their future devices with the Android AOSP (Android Open Source Project) with a custom non-google app store for downloading apps. The company also plans to build an AOSP backend to perform On-the-Air infrastructure in anticipation with Google’s action.
Huawei at the time of this writing has declined to comment about Facebook’s announcement.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.