Strict new limits imposed on commercial cooperation imposed by the US government have seen Facebook suspend its practice of pre-installing its software on Huawei phones, just weeks after Google froze out Huawei from updates to its ubiquitous Android operating system.
Huawei is engaged in a mammoth public relations exercise to demonstrate its independence from the Chinese government after being frozen out by a US hardware and software trade ban, amid fears that it is a Trojan Horse controlled by Beijing.
Existing Huawei customers will not be affected by the changes but new users will have the inconvenience of not being able to have the likes of WhatsApp and Messenger pre-installed on their device.
Any disruption is likely to be minimal as users would still be able to download the apps from Google’s Play store directly but the moves may serve to dampen consumer enthusiasm for the brand amid ongoing uncertainty.
China is supporting Huawei as it mounts a legal challenge against the US measures.