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Huawei comes down heavily on marketing team after embarrassing NYE tweet

Huawei’s new year greeting on Twitter was fairly standard, with an inoffensive cheerful new year resolution, except for one big problem — the post was made using an iPhone.

The tweet was the worst possible coda to a year in which the Chinese brand finally stole a lead on Apple as the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer.

While the offending tweet was quickly deleted,  screenshots had already been taken and Huawei found itself at the centre of a lot of ridicule online, both on Twitter on the Chinese social network Weibo.

Huawei has chosen not to take a light-hearted or forgiving stand on the issue, according to media reports, citing an internal memo.

The memo identified the source of the problem as a malfunctioning VPN on a desktop computer at Huawei’s social media handler Sapient, compelling a last minute switch to an iPhone to make the tweet.

The memo claims that “the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand” and that two of its own employees who were held responsible have been demoted a rank, with their salaries cut by RMB5,000 or $728.27. One of them, a digital marketing director, will have his salary frozen for 12 months.

There is no information at this stage on what action, if any, is being or has been taken against Sapient.

Cases where brand ambassadors or others associated with a technology brand tweet from a device they are not supposed to be using, are fairly commonplace.

In India last month, actor and ubiquitous brand endorser Amitabh Bachchan asked his 35.9 million followers on Twitter for help with his Samsung S9. Some users promptly suggested he switch to OnePlus, a brand he endorses.

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