Huawei has demoted and cut the salary of two of its employees after an iPhone was used to send a New Year greeting from the company's official Twitter account. In a note seen by both Reuters and Bloomberg the company's business leader Chen Lifang said the incident had "caused damage to the Huawei brand." In addition to the demo and a 5,000 yuan (around $ 728) monthly salary cut, January 3, the memo said one of the employees would also see their paycheck frozen for 12 months.
The internal note states that the incident occurred after its external social media, Sapient, experienced "VPN problems" with its PC. VPNs allow access to Twitter from China. As a solution, an iPhone was equipped with a foreign SIM card used to send the tweet. The Huawei note notes that "the incident exposed errors in our processes and management."
The original, now deleted tweet was widely encountered on Twitter and tech publications such as 9to5Mac . The replacement tweet sent from "Twitter Media Studio" currently has 289 responses, most of which refer to the original.
This is not the first time a tweet's metadata has caused embarrassment to a company, but it is rare for us to hear about the fallout from these events. Last year, Samsung Nigeria had to delete over 300 tweets sent from an Apple device, while celebrities, including Gal Gadot and Indian actor Anushka Sharma, have been captured tweeting ads for Huawei and Google , respectively, from the competitor's phones. YouTuber Marques Brownlee has noticed them so often that he once joked about adding "Twitter Police" to his bio .