Huawei Technologies Co. can get really touchy about its phones. This week, the fast-rising Chinese company demoted and cut the pay of two employees held responsible for a New Year’s greeting tweeted from Huawei’s official account – with an iPhone.
It was an embarrassing snafu for China’s biggest telecoms gear maker, which supplanted Apple Inc. as the world’s No. 2 smartphone brand in 2018 and is now gunning for the top spot. The slip-up comes as tensions run high with finance chief Meng Wanzhou facing extradition to the U.S. over alleged bank fraud. And it may have further ruffled feathers in Shenzhen after a number of popular American blogs, including 9to5mac, picked up on and ran with the since-deleted tweet, marked “via Twitter for iPhone.”
While Huawei blamed the faux pas on an agency it hired to handle social media overseas, the company also came down hard on the two workers.
The punishment included a deduction of 5,000 yuan ($730) from monthly salary as well as a single-level demotion, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News.
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. Huawei declined to comment for this story.
Employees must now “tighten management of suppliers and partners,” Huawei said in its memo. “The incident exposed flaws in our processes and management.”