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Huawei demotes two employees for posting to Twitter from an iPhone

07 January, 2019, 04:14 | Author: Ron Miles
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Shenzhen-based Huawei, whose P-series handsets compete with Apple's iPhones, on December 31 wished followers a "Happy 2019" in a tweet marked with "via Twitter for iPhone".

The tweet was swiftly removed from social media, but some were too quick for the tech giant and screenshots of the mistake were shared all over the internet.

What's concerning is the sentiment expressed by a fan on microblog Weibo who typed a message in context to the Huawei incident: "The traitor has revealed himself".

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In an internal Huawei memo dated January 3 seen by Reuters, corporate senior vice-president and director of the board Chen Lifang said, "the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand". However, a VPN is necessary to use Twitter and many other social media websites because of the censorship in China. To access these services, users need virtual private network (VPN) connection.

Last year, the company passed Apple, taking the number two spot as the second biggest smartphone maker in the world. Huawei declined Reuters' request for comment. Calls to its Beijing office went unanswered. Huawei only sent out a memo which attributed the issue to "procedural incompliance and management oversight". As a punishment for the blunder the company had demoted the employees by one rank and has also reduced the monthly salaries by $700 (5,000 yuan). Additionally, the pay rank of Huawei's digital marketing director will be frozen for 12 months.

This is the first time that an Android OEM's internal response to a tweet being posted from an iPhone has gone public. He later said his actions were not hypocritical as foreign brands should not be discriminated against.

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The arrest of its chief financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada in early December - on a United States extradition request linked to sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran - has led to a surge of patriotism in China with companies encouraging staff to buy Huawei smartphones.

The slip-up comes as tensions run high with finance chief Meng Wanzhou facing extradition to the US over alleged bank fraud.

Several companies are offering employees subsidies for Huawei phone purchases, while others have even warned staff against buying Apple products.

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