Image via Karlis Dambrans /

2019 has not started well for two employees of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, whose P-series smartphones compete with Apple’s iPhones.

On New Year’s Day, Huawei tweeted a “Happy #2019’ message to its followers using none other than… an iPhone. The gaffe was distinctly broadcast for the world to see through the social media platform, which indicated the tweet as “via Twitter for iPhone.”

Even though the upload was hastily removed, its screenshot spread quickly online and has now led to repercussions for two Huawei employees.

According to an internal memo dated 3 January 2019 that was obtained by Reuters, the employees have been demoted by one rank and their monthly salaries cut by CN¥5,000 (US$728). The pay rank of Huawei’s digital marketing director has also been frozen for a year.

Corporate senior VP and board director Chen Lifang explained inside the memo that “the incident [had] caused damage to the Huawei brand.” The company said the error reflected procedural incompliance and oversight in management.

The accident had apparently occurred after Huawei’s outsourced social media company Sapient stumbled into “VPN problems” with desktop. In order to post the tweet on time at midnight, an iPhone with a roaming SIM card was used to upload the message instead.

This isn’t the first blunder that has left Huawei in the spotlight. In August last year, the brand was caught passing off a DSLR photo for its smartphone camera sample.

[via Reuters, main image via Karlis Dambrans /]

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