Huawei punishes staff with pay cuts for marketing tweet sent via iPhone

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in iPhone
Chinese smartphone giant Huawei has issued harsh punishments to two of its staff in the aftermath of New Year's Day marketing tweet sent out with the label "via Twitter for iPhone."

Huawei's deleted tweet


Both of the workers have been demoted one rank and had their monthly salaries cut by 5,000 yuan, or about $728, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. One person, the company's digital marketing director, will have his pay rank frozen for a year.

The memo indicated that an outsourced social media firm, Sapient, encountered "VPN problems" with a desktop it was using for publishing, so instead turned to an iPhone with a roaming SIM card to trigger the message at midnight on New Year's. Twitter is normally blocked in China, so a VPN (virtual private network) is a commonplace tool for reaching it.

The post -- which read "Happy #2019" -- was almost immediately deleted, but not before screenshots made their way to social networks like Weibo, where they were roundly mocked.

Huawei has had similar embarassments in the past. A notable example was when Israeli actress Gal Gadot, serving as a paid ambassador, promoted the Mate 10 Pro on Twitter but used her iPhone to do it.

The illusion of brand unity has become important at smartphone makers around the world, especially given the intense competition between iPhone and Android as platforms. In reality workers will often have devices from rival companies, even at Apple, though corporate leaders sometimes take measures to deter this.

Huawei likely has little to worry about in the near future, as Chinese iPhone sales were poor enough in the December quarter to trigger this week's guidance downgrade. That sent Apple shares plummeting, and prompted CEO Tim Cook to promise management would "take action" to put the company on the right course.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Huawei likely has little to worry about in the near future, as Chinese iPhone sales were poor enough in the December quarter to trigger this week's guidance downgrade
    Except that even with Apple’s current level sales in China the make all the profits in their phone market. 
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,591member
    So staffers and not a PR firm. And punishment from the top. Not a great look for life in China...
    racerhomie3crtaylorderekcurrieAppleExposedwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,108member
    So staffers and not a PR firm. And punishment from the top. Not a great look for life in China...
    No, it is not a good look. Plus, any celebrity hawking Chinese government-owned company products is a fool, including Gal Gadot.
    crtaylorderekcurrieanantksundaramwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 20
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,050moderator
    First, the fact they could ‘turn to an iPhone...’ is all
    that’s needed to be said.  What was an iPhone doing there?  Obviously, someone on staff prefers it over the brand they are representing in their job.  So that deserves a good laugh at the expense of Huawei.

    Beyond that, the company has now admitted it uses VPN software to access Twitter, circumventing the will of the Chinese government.  Wonder if someone at Huawei should perhaps be docked a few months pay for that.  Maybe the CEO.  
    edited January 4 racerhomie3StrangeDaysroundaboutnowderekcurrieAppleExposedxyzzy-xxxanantksundaramwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 20
    This may sound ethnocentric, but I'm glad I don't live in China and it is steadily moving down my list of places I'd like to visit.

    Best

    crtaylorderekcurrieAppleExposedanantksundaramwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,063member
    Not a good look for Huawei. It’s unfair to lump all of China into the heavy handed actions of one company that is trying to use nationalism to advance its own private business interests.
    crtaylorroundaboutnowxyzzy-xxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    First, the fact they could ‘turn to an iPhone...’ is all
    that’s needed to be said.  What was an iPhone doing there?  Obviously, someone on staff prefers it over the brand they are representing in their job.  So that deserves a good laugh at the expense of Huawei.

    Beyond that, the company has now admitted it uses VPN software to access Twitter, circumventing the will of the Chinese government.  Wonder if someone at Huawei should perhaps be docked a few months pay for that.  Maybe the CEO.  

    No, they're like Samsung. They need to have iPhones around to see what to copy next. Except with Huawei it's not look & feel, but more likely trying to pry secrets from the internals.

    As to using a VPN, I'm sure Chinese authorities aren't concerned about bending the rules when it's to promote their own companies or interests. They just don't want private citizens doing it.
    crtaylorStrangeDaysderekcurrieAppleExposedxyzzy-xxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    First, the fact they could ‘turn to an iPhone...’ is all
    that’s needed to be said.  What was an iPhone doing there?  Obviously, someone on staff prefers it over the brand they are representing in their job.  So that deserves a good laugh at the expense of Huawei.

    Beyond that, the company has now admitted it uses VPN software to access Twitter, circumventing the will of the Chinese government.  Wonder if someone at Huawei should perhaps be docked a few months pay for that.  Maybe the CEO.  
    It was an external agency, Sapient, at least that's how I read it. So an iPhone isn't unexpected
    xyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 9 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,785member
    First, the fact they could ‘turn to an iPhone...’ is all
    that’s needed to be said.  What was an iPhone doing there?  Obviously, someone on staff prefers it over the brand they are representing in their job.  So that deserves a good laugh at the expense of Huawei.

    Beyond that, the company has now admitted it uses VPN software to access Twitter, circumventing the will of the Chinese government.  Wonder if someone at Huawei should perhaps be docked a few months pay for that.  Maybe the CEO.  
    The Reuters piece says the tweet was sent by Sapient. It was Sapient that used the VPN. The employees involved in the messaging were not Huawei employees as far as I can tell.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    The Twitter/VPN part of the story should be a bigger embarrassment to Huawei than the tweet itself. It is a cold stark reminder that China is a totalitarian state that wants to be in absolute control over the speech of its citizens. It is also a reminder that Huawei is controlled by the Chinese government and should not be trusted to keep your private information secret.
    derekcurrieacejax805watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,325member
    This is fun.
    AppleExposedxyzzy-xxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,591member
    This may sound ethnocentric, but I'm glad I don't live in China and it is steadily moving down my list of places I'd like to visit.
    It’s not really ethnocentric. I’ve traveled all over the world, including Asia, europe, eastern europe and  Scandinavia. China has many interesting, historic sites, but modern day China has a boot on the neck of its people and this affects many things there, including poverty, quality of life, lawfulness, regulations, and architecture. It’s been twenty years since my extended visit but at that time pollution was rampant. It wasn’t a pleasant place to be. Eastern Europe had similar communist-era building construction which was likewise unpleasant, but was less polluted during my visits. 
    xyzzy-xxxanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,591member
    avon b7 said:
    First, the fact they could ‘turn to an iPhone...’ is all
    that’s needed to be said.  What was an iPhone doing there?  Obviously, someone on staff prefers it over the brand they are representing in their job.  So that deserves a good laugh at the expense of Huawei.

    Beyond that, the company has now admitted it uses VPN software to access Twitter, circumventing the will of the Chinese government.  Wonder if someone at Huawei should perhaps be docked a few months pay for that.  Maybe the CEO.  
    The Reuters piece says the tweet was sent by Sapient. It was Sapient that used the VPN. The employees involved in the messaging were not Huawei employees as far as I can tell.
    Not sure if the story here was updated or not but it does seem the tweet was sent from Sapient, but staffers were also punished:

    ”Huawei in the memo said the blunder showed procedural incompliance and management oversight. It said it had demoted two employees responsible by one rank and reduced their monthly salaries by 5,000 yuan ($728.27). 

    The pay rank of one of the employees - Huawei’s digital marketing director - will also be frozen for 12 months, it said.”

    derekcurrieanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    😂🤣🤪😹😎
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 891unconfirmed, member
    So Huawei is forcing their employees to use knockoffs?

    Even the top CEOs running android use iPhone.
    xyzzy-xxxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 568member
    It’s Huawei or the highway, baby!
    StrangeDaysanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    This may sound ethnocentric, but I'm glad I don't live in China and it is steadily moving down my list of places I'd like to visit.

    Best

    As a Canadian, I will not be visiting China anytime in the planned future (work or leisure), as the Chinese gov't has been detaining / imprisoning Canadians (13 so far) since the Huawei CFO was arrested on Canadian soil, based upon an arrest warrant from the USA (with whom we have an extradition treaty).  Funny how China is extracting is revenge (how mature of them) on Canadians, but not on Americans who issued the arrest warrant.

    And just a final note - interesting indeed that when Canadians are targeted by China when aiding the USA on execution of their warrant, the US government is remarkably silent on the matter.  It didn't used to be that way, but such is the deterioration of US / Canada relations under the current US management.
    xyzzy-xxxanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,564member
    What probably happen, the two people used an Apple phone that was being used to reverse engineer Apple products so Huawie come out with their next new product.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 20
    This may sound ethnocentric, but I'm glad I don't live in China and it is steadily moving down my list of places I'd like to visit.

    Best

    It’s a fascinating country and the people are also very interesting. It’s the Chinese government that I have little use for.
    tokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 20
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 319member
    Obviously... ‘Apple is Doomed!!’
    watto_cobra
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