HONG KONG (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies in China [HWT.UL] has punished two employees for New Year greeting cards sent to the smartphone manufacturer's Twitter Twitter account using an iPhone, an internal memo showed.
A sales assistant looks at his cellphone while waiting for customers behind a counter at a Huawei stand in Wuhan, Hubei Province, October 10, 2012. REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo
Huawei, whose P-series phones compete with the Apple iPhone, at New Year's Eve, wanted a follower of a "Happy # 2019" in a Twitter tweezed Twitter.
Tweet has been removed quickly, but the screenshots of the gafe have spread to social media.
"The traitor has revealed," has pulled a user on the Weibo microblog, in a "pleasant" comment over 600 times.
(Click here for an interactive chart of Apple vs. Huawei tmsnrt.rs/2GPPIRI)
In an internal Huawei memo on January 3, seen by Reuters, senior corporate vice chairman and board director Chen Lifang said the incident "caused Huawei brand damage."
Mistakes occurred when Sapient made "VPN problems" on a desktop so he could use an iPhone with a roaming SIM card to send the message on time at midnight, Huawei said in the memo.
Twitter, like more foreign services such as Facebook and Alphabet Inc., is locked in China, where the Internet is heavily censored. For access, users need a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
Huawei, who overtook Apple as the second largest smartphone provider in the world in January-September, declined to comment on domestic issues when contacted Reuters.
Sapient did not respond immediately to a request for comments sent via the contact form to his site. Calls to his Beijing office remained unanswered.
Huawei, in the memo, said the gaffa showed procedural non-compliance and management oversight. He said he demoted two employees in charge of a rank and reduced monthly salaries by 5000 yuan ($ 728.27).
The pay rate of one employee – Huawei's digital marketing director – will also be frozen for 12 months, he said.
This is not the first time Apple has ever bothered to use.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the nationalist tabloid, Global Times, was mocked last year after using the iPhone to express his support for Huawei and his internal college ZTE Corp. He said his actions were not hypocritical because foreign brands should not be discriminated against.
Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Christopher Cushing