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Huawei punishes employees for tweeting New Year’s wishes from an iPhone

Updated Jan 4th, 2019 7:39AM EST
Huawei vs. Apple
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Apple may have not sold as many iPhones as it would have wanted during the Christmas quarter, but the iPhone remains the most coveted smartphone out there. And we know that thanks to Twitter, which keeps revealing that employees from Apple rivals as well as brand ambassadors some of these rivals hire to promote Android devices keep using the iPhone instead of the Android device you expect them to use. Just recently, Huawei employees in charge of one of the company’s Twitter accounts used an iPhone to send out New Year’s wishes to customers. And this time around, Huawei did not turn a blind eye to the whole thing.

Per Reuters, the tweet was quickly removed, but the internet never forgets, and many people captured screenshots of the blunder.

Since then Reuters saw an internal Huawei memo dated January 3rd, that said “the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand.”

As a result, Huawei punished two employees who used an iPhone to send out the tweet. Apparently, some sort of “VPN problems” with a computer forced the employees to use an iPhone with a roaming SIM card to send the message out at midnight.

Huawei demoted the two employees by one rank and reduced their monthly salaries by some 5,000 yuan, which is about $728.27. Furthermore, the pay rank of one of the employees, who’s Huawei’s digital marketing director, will be frozen for 12 months.

These punishments seem rather harsh, but we’re currently witnessing an escalating economic war between the US and China, with Apple and Huawei being the top tech companies in each country that are hurting the most. Just recently, Chinese companies revealed they’d reward employees who would replace iPhones with smartphones made in China, as a response to Huawei’s CFO being briefly detained Canada. But Huawei’s punitive actions pale compared to Samsung’s. The Korean company sued a brand ambassador for $1.6 million for a similar marketing misstep that involved an iPhone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.