Huawei Technologies has demoted two of its employees after tweeting New Year greetings on the phone’s manufacturers Twitter account with an iPhone. The company, whose P series battles with Apple’s iPhone shocked its followers with a message saying “Happy#2019” in a tweet sent “via iPhone.”
Although the tweet was quickly removed, screenshots of the message were shared across several social media platforms.
“The traitor has revealed himself,” said a user on the Chinese microblog site Weibo. The comment won over 600 likes.
The international news agency, Reuters reports that the corporate senior vice president and director of the board Chen Lifang said: “the incident had caused harm to the Huawei brand.” This statement was revealed in an internal memo dated Jan 3.
The memo also revealed that the error occurred when Sapient, an outsourced social media handler used an iPhone instead of his desktop which he claimed had “VPN problems.”
In China, most foreign social media sites including Twitter are blocked by local authorities. This is as a result of the heavy censorship of international services by the Chinese government. However, users in the country can gain access via a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
However, when the news agency contacted Huawei, it refused to comment on the issue. This scandal occurs at a time when the Chinese smartphone maker overtakes Apple making it the second largest smartphone vendor in January-September 2018.
Attempts to reach both Sapient and Huawei’ Beijing’s office failed as calls and emails were unanswered.
Furthermore, the memo showed that Huawei blamed the blunder on noncompliance and management oversight. Huawei also said that it had demoted two staff members by one rank and reduced their monthly salaries by 5,000 yuan ($728.27)
The memo also says that one of the affected workers, Huawei’s digital marketing director will have his pay rank frozen for 12 months.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time an Apple phone has been at the centre of a scandal.
Last year, Hu Xijin, a top executive at the Global Times was a target for online trolls after he tweeted support for Huawei and ZTE via an iPhone.
In Russia, Ksenia Sobchak was sued for $1.6 million by Samsung after she used an iPhone during a TV interview. She was an ambassador of Samsung during the incident.