FORBIDDEN FRUIT

Huawei Punishes Staff for Sending Official Tweets From iPhone

Bosses at Chinese smartphone company Huawei didn’t have the best start to the year. Two employees have been demoted and had their salaries slashed after a tweet from the company’s official account, wishing users the best for 2019, was sent using an iPhone. On New Year’s Day, Huawei wished followers a “Happy #2019” in a tweet marked sent “via Twitter for iPhone.” It was swiftly deleted, but screenshots of the gaffe have been widely shared and ridiculed online. In an internal Huawei memo seen by the Reuters news agency, Chen Lifang, corporate senior vice-president and director of the board, said “the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand.” The memo said the company had demoted two employees responsible for the error by one rank and reduced their monthly salaries by 5,000 yuan ($728.27). The tweet came after outsourced social-media handler Sapient experienced “VPN problems” with a desktop computer and used an iPhone with a roaming SIM card. Twitter is blocked in China, so in order to gain access users need a virtual private network (VPN) connection.