A lot of people use iPhones. Amusingly, that increasingly includes social media managers who use Apple devices while they’re supposed to be promoting other manufacturers.
That was apparently the case when Huawei’s official Twitter account sent out a routine tweet on Jan. 1 celebrating the New Year.
There’s nothing significant or particularly interesting about the tweet — except for the fact that it was apparently sent via “Twitter for iPhone.”
The gaffe was first spotted by technology YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who has become so proficient at spotting Android promotional tweets sent via iPhone that he has joked about adding “Twitter police” to his bio.
As you might expect, the tweet was viciously mocked across social media.
That was fast pic.twitter.com/y6k0FJF7Gq
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) January 1, 2019
Normally, these tweets would simply get deleted and ignored (like Samsung has done many times in the past). Huawei did delete and repost the tweet via “Twitter Media Studio.” But Huawei, in true anti-Apple zealotry, is taking the blunder much more seriously than that.
What Happened Next?
In an internal memo acquired by Bloomberg, Huawei’s corporate SVP Chen Lifang said that the gaffe actually “caused damage” to the company’s brand image.
As a result, Huawei has reportedly demoted and levied pay cuts on two of its employees after the incident. One of those two employees will also see their pay rank frozen for 12 months.
The memo also clears up what happened.
Apparently, Huawei’s social media people popped a foreign SIM into an iPhone to send the tweet after they experienced “VPN problems” with their PC.
It’s worth noting that VPNs allow users in China to access Twitter, which is normally blocked in the country.
As mentioned earlier, social media blunders like these are not uncommon — Samsung has had its fair share. It’s the punishment that seems a bit out of the ordinary.
That could be partly attributable to a backlash targeting Apple after Huawei’s CFO was arrested in Canada at the behest of U.S. authorities. In the wake of that incident, Chinese companies have demanded that employees stop using iPhones. Some firms have even threatened to fire Apple device-equipped staff.
But in the end, it really goes to show that a lot of people just prefer iPhones.