- Facebook has removed Huawei adverts for carrying political messages.
- Huawei has been at the heart of a geopolitical skirmish between the US and China, which escalated last month when America blacklisted the company.
- One of the adverts warned against “mixing politics with technology.”
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Facebook has cracked down on Huawei adverts for being too political.
The embattled Chinese smartphone maker was blacklisted by the Trump administration last month, as the US government claims that the company acts as a proxy for the Chinese government, providing it with technological “backdoors” through which to spy. Huawei denies this.
The US has been lobbying its allies to reject Huawei’s 5G network proposals on these grounds, with mixed success.
At the same time, Huawei has been running ads online trying to convince people it’s trustworthy, but Facebook has taken down several of these ads for breaking its policies, the Telegraph first reported.
One of the adverts, archived on Facebook’s Ad Library, ran from May 24 until last week. It warns against “mixing politics with technology,” and features a quote from Huawei chairman Ken Hu.
This ad reached over a million users and was shown predominantly to regions in India. The Ad Library said that the advert ran without a disclaimer about who paid for it, which is required from ads “about social issues, elections or politics.”
Another advert spotted by the Telegraph featured a video of Huawei EU communications executive, Jakub Hera Adamowicz, and Sophie Batas, the director of cybersecurity and privacy, talking to camera about the company. This ad was targeted primarily at European users.
The Telegraph found another ad sharing an article from French newspaper Le Monde warning against letting the US interfere in European politics. A Facebook spokesman told the Telegraph the ads were removed as the company was not authorised to run political ads in the EU.
Facebook and Huawei were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.
Huawei hasn’t constrained its PR push to social media. In February, it took out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal to publish an “open letter the US media.” It also ran full-page ads in New Zealand newspapers after the country blocked its 5G ambitions, saying “5G without Huawei is like rugby without New Zealand.”
Facebook is one of the numerous US companies to have suspended certain business connections with Huawei after it was placed on an “entity list” by the Department of Commerce, meaning American companies have to seek government approval before dealing with the Chinese firm. Facebook confirmed it was barring Huawei from pre-installing any Facebook-owned apps on its smartphones.
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