Huawei cuts pay and demotes employees responsible for New Year tweet fiasco

Helen Aguilar
January 5, 2019

You may remember that shortly after the turn of the year we told you about the latest company to fall foul of the course of tweeting from an iPhone instead of its own devices.

The new year message was quickly removed from Huawei's official Twitter feed but was shared by users of the social media site. He said the action had been taken because the screw-up had "caused damage to the Huawei brand", which is hard to argue with. Huawei declined to comment for this story.

China blocks access to many foreign websites, including Twitter, although many people circumvent the firewall by using virtual private networks.

And it may have further ruffled feathers in Shenzhen after a number of popular American blogs, including 9to5mac, picked up on and ran with the since-deleted tweet, marked "via Twitter for iPhone". Highlighting this blunder internally, the company said that this mistake showed procedural in compliance and management oversight. It was revealed that their social media activities were outsourced to Sapient, but the person that was managing the account had problems with VPN on the desktop computer.

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Several companies are offering employees subsidies for Huawei phone purchases, while others have even warned staff against buying Apple products.

Apple's iPhone has been the target of patriotic displays since Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada late previous year. To me it sounds as though the marketing employees were under pressure to ensure the message went out and overlooked the fact the tweet would be tagged as being sent from an iPhone. Furthermore, the pay rank of one of the employees, who's Huawei's digital marketing director, will be frozen for 12 months.

Samsung reportedly sued one of its "brand ambassadors" - said to be President Putin's "goddaughter" - for breach of contract for continuing to use an iPhone in public.

Tensions with Huawei especially have reached new heights since its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada last month at Washington's request, on suspicion of engaging in conspiracies to defraud multiple financial institutions and contravene U.S. sanctions on Iran, Sputnik reported.

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