There's nothing like a ringing in the new year with a tech blunder that puts the reputation of one company in hilarious jeopardy.
Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei sent out a tweet over the New Year's holiday wishing everyone a happy 2019. The problem? Many social media users noticed that Huawei's tweet had been sent from an iPhone.
Huawei Uses An iPhone To Tweet
It doesn't take a genius to realize just how bad that mistake is. There's the fact that Apple is Huawei's fiercest competitor. While certainly funny, using a competitor's product to promote one's brand is potentially damaging to business. Huawei certainly thinks so. In fact, reports say it's going to punish employees responsible for the mishap, according to Reuters.
On Jan. 3, Huawei apparently distributed an internal memo that the wee incident had "caused damage to the Huawei brand." The social media team in charge of Huawei's Twitter feed, managed by international PR firm Sapient, claimed to have experienced "VPN problems" on their desktop computers at the time and had to use a mobile phone to send out the tweet. To be fair, many sites including Twitter are indeed blocked in China, causing many people to use VPNs to bypass the country's pervasive firewalls.
Two @Huawei employees reportedly demoted for New Year greetings sent on the smartphone maker's official #Twitter account using an #iPhone. pic.twitter.com/u26DGuywam — Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 4, 2019
Huawei Demotes Employees Responsible For The New Year's Mishap
In the memo, Huawei said the mishap showed procedural incompliance and management oversight.
It goes on to reveal that the employees have been demoted and that their monthly salaries have been reduced by roughly $720. Additionally, the pay rank of Huawei's digital marketing director will be frozen for an entire year, as per the memo.
Huawei didn't say how much money the employees had been making before the incident.
Huawei, which recently overtook Apple as the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer by volume in the January to September period, refused to comment on the alleged memo. Sapient has yet to comment on the incident, either.
This is not the first time Huawei has been at the center of embarrassing blunders online. Back in April 2018, Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot was mocked by Netizens for promoting the company's latest phone on Twitter via an iPhone. As always, the backlash was swift. Gadot later explained that she does not use an iPhone and "love[s] her Huawei P20 and Mate10 Pro."
"Sometimes I rely on help from my team to post larger videos. And that is what happened here," Gadot said at the time.