Huawei punishes staff for tweeting with iPhone

Eric Abent - Jan 4, 2019, 9:18 am CST
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Huawei punishes staff for tweeting with iPhone

Seeing phone companies publish tweets using competing devices is at least a somewhat common thing, but today, we’re learning of the fallout from one such incident. Over the holidays, Huawei’s social media team sent out a tweet wishing followers a Happy New Year using an iPhone. As is usually the case when something like this happens, users noticed the “Twitter for iPhone” footnote on the tweet and turned what should have been an innocuous post into quite the hot topic.

Huawei, as it turns out, is not so keen on users seeing that its social media posts were published using competing phones. The company has apparently punished the employees who were responsible for the blunder, demoting them and docking their pay.

Their punishment was detailed in an internal memo acquired by Reuters. In that memo, Huawei corporate senior vice-president and director of the board Chen Lifang explained that the company responsible for Huawei’s social media posts, Sapient, was experiencing VPN problems around the time it intended to send the tweet live. VPNs are pretty much a requirement when it comes to accessing social media sites in China, as the government extensively censors the internet.

So, instead of using a VPN to publish Huawei’s well-wishes for the new year, Sapient published the tweet with an iPhone using a foreign SIM card. Though the problem tweet was deleted quickly, Lifang said that the mistake “caused damage to the Huawei brand.” As a result, two employees have been demoted and their monthly salaries have been docked by by 5,000 yuan (around $728). Beyond that, the salary of Huawei’s digital marketing director has been frozen for the next year.

It’s clear now that Huawei doesn’t take kindly to its social media handlers using competing equipment to publish posts. While we can expect more blunders of this nature to reveal themselves soon enough, you can bet that Huawei’s social media team will try to avoid being the ones responsible for it. What do you think about this story? Does the punishment fit the crime, or is Huawei’s response a little extreme? Head down to the comments section and let us know!


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