Chinese Smartphone Maker Huawei Demotes Employees Responsible for Tweeting From iPhone

On New Year's Day, Huawei's Twitter account wished its followers a Happy New Year, but Twitter users quickly noticed that the tweet came from an iPhone rather than a Huawei device, with Twitter denoting it as "via Twitter for iPhone."

The Huawei employees who were responsible for the tweet quickly deleted it, but a screenshot of the tweet went viral, catching the attention of Huawei executives.

Screenshot of Huawei Tweet via Marques Brownlee

Huawei's corporate senior vice president and director of the board Chen Lifang sent out a Huawei memo on January 3, announcing punishments for the employees involved. Reuters saw the memo and shared the contents.

According to Lifang, the tweet "caused damage to the Huawei brand," and occurred when an iPhone was used to send the message after a desktop computer malfunctioned. Huawei felt the accidental tweet "showed procedural incompliance and management oversight."

The mistake occurred when outsourced social media handler Sapient experienced "VPN problems" with a desktop computer so used an iPhone with a roaming SIM card in order to send the message on time at midnight, Huawei said in the memo.

The two employees who were responsible for the gaffe were demoted by one rank and their monthly salaries were reduced by 5,000 yuan, equivalent to approximately $728. Huawei has also frozen the pay rank of its digital marketing director for 12 months.

This is not the first time that a social media manager for an Android smartphone has tweeted from an iPhone, and it's something that always catches the attention of users on Twitter and other social networks. Samsung, for example, has had several employees tweet from an iPhone device.

Huawei has also experienced other social media gaffes, such as when Wonder Woman actress and Huawei brand ambassador Gal Gadot posted a paid tweet promoting the Huawei Mate 10 from an iPhone.

In the most Huawei situation, the tweet went viral after being shared by popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee, and it was also widely shared on Chinese social network Weibo.

Tag: Huawei

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
It's funny to me that they said the initial tweet hurt their brand. To me punishing them for this just hurts their brand even more as it makes them look petty.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
Hahahaha. This is always hilarious. And these companies are focused on being stern and victim-minded (ie how this has "damaged" huawei brand) instead of making products that their own marketing people/agents want to use. I mean if you cannot even control your own ambassador to use your own product, you are doing something wrong.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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24 months ago

It's funny to me that they said the initial tweet hurt their brand. To me punishing them for this just hurts their brand even more as it makes them look petty.

It's China, a place they publicly spank poor performing bank employees on stage.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
It's stuff like this that makes me want to never use brands like Huawei. Not the fact they are Chinese. I couldn't care less about that.

Having said that, most companies including Apple, Microsoft and other big names would probably do the same (slightly different "punishment"); But as others have said, you'd never hear about them.

This is a huge problem for Huawei, and what started as a bit of a gaff, is now a PR disaster.

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago

Yeah. That probably explains why Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak was still using a Motorola RAZR instead of the original iPhone...

There was even an article about this here on this website, but there are plenty of other articles about it stored in the looooong memory of the Internet:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-co-founder-woz-sometimes-i-use-a-moto-razr-instead-of-an-iphone/

Wozniak has not been an Apple employee since when? Who cares what he uses. He's not the image of Apple as a company today.
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It's funny to me that they said the initial tweet hurt their brand. To me punishing them for this just hurts their brand even more as it makes them look petty.

These things happen all the time in many companies. You just don't see them being announced.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
Well at least somebody in China can afford an iPhone. They must have pretty good jobs.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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