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Facebook shares user data with Huawei, other Chinese companies

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Facebook shares user data with Huawei, other Chinese companies

Facebook Inc. has data-sharing agreements with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Lenovo Group Ltd., OPPO Electronics Corp. and TCL Corp., according to The New York Times.

Under the agreement, which dates back to 2010 and remains in effect, the social media company gave the Chinese companies private access to some of the users' data, the June 5 report stated.

The confirmation comes after The New York Times published a report June 3 stating that Facebook, in the last decade, struck partnerships with at least 60 device manufacturers, such as Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., BlackBerry Ltd., Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Group

In response, Facebook VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong said in a blog post that the agreements, which were entered prior to the emergence of operating systems' app stores, allowed the companies to offer Facebook on their devices through an application programming interface that the social media company developed.

"These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other purpose than to recreate Facebook-like experiences," according to the Facebook post.

"Partners could not integrate the user's Facebook features with their devices without the user's permission," Archibong wrote.

The June 5 New York Times report also quoted Facebook Vice President Francisco Varela as saying that "the integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL were controlled from the get-go."

Varela also clarified that in its integration with Huawei, information was "stored on the device, not on Huawei's servers."

Facebook is said to be terminating its agreement with Huawei during the week of June 9, Reuters reported June 5. The company will also discontinue its partnerships with the other three Chinese companies, though no specific time frame has been mentioned.

The social media company said in April that it is "winding down access to device-integrated APIs ... under partnership agreements."