Huawei punishes employees for iPhone blunder

James Marshall
January 5, 2019

Chinese companies have been trying to steer employees toward Huawei products and away from U.S. rival Apple.

Huawei Technologies has punished to employees after a New Year's tweet was sent using an iPhone.

What is even more ironic, however, is that China's own firewall restrictions against Twitter were likely the cause of the "VPN problems" which resulted in the employee resorting to tweeting from a phone, according to the memo.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalistic tabloid Global Times, was mocked online a year ago after he used his iPhone when expressing support for Huawei and domestic peer ZTE Corp.

Apple Inc has lowered its outlook for fiscal first-quarter revenue after an unexpected slowdown in demand from China and fewer upgrades to iPhone models.

Huawei, the Chinese company that makes some pretty great, relatively low-priced phones sent a tweet out on New Year's Eve to wish its followers a happy new year, but as YouTuber Marques "MKBHD" Brownlee noted, the tweet was sent from an iPhone.

Although the incriminating tweet was quickly corrected, the original version was screenshotted and shared across Chinese and English social media, prompting mockery.

Twitter, like many other Western internet services, is blocked in mainland China.

Huawei's marketing team choosing to use an iPhone to tweet seems like an obvious thing not to do, but the circumstances surrounding why this happened suggest Huawei's response is a little harsh.

The company has come under fire in 2018, with Washington leading efforts to blacklist Huawei internationally.

But the memo also revealed that Huawei has demoted and cut the pay by 5,000 yuan (R10,400) of two employees held responsible. But Huawei isn't the only smartphone maker that's been caught using a rival's devices. That's around £575, or 57.5 per cent of an iPhone XS that you absolutely shouldn't tweet from if you work for Huawei. One of the pair was head of Huawei's digital marketing team, according to the memo circulated among the public and government relations team as well as a number of employees in the consumer business unit.

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