Few things are more embarrassing to big brands than mistakes on social media. Android device makers certainly have been embarrassed on multiple occasions by social media folks who forget that when you Tweet from an iPhone, the little "via Twitter for iPhone" tag goes with your post. Huawei found this out the hard way around midnight on December 31 when a post to its official Twitter account was made to wish the world a happy 2019.
The post itself was fine; the embarrassment came in the fact that the tweet was posted via an iPhone. While a mistake of this sort is nothing new, what is new is that Huawei has gone very public with its chastening of all people who were involved in the error. Huawei has made it known that the employees responsible have been demoted and had their pay slashed as punishment. Huawei vice president Chen Lifang has stated that "the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand."
A memo was also circulated that explained the situation leading to the mistake. An outsourced social media firm called Sapient had problems with a VPN preventing the Tweet from being posted from a desktop computer. The social media person turned to a nearby iPhone to get the Tweet out on time without considering the embarrassment Tweeting from an iPhone would cause an Android device maker. While that outsourced social media handler is ultimately responsible for the error, Huawei also admonished in-house management as executives at the company said that the mistake showed "procedural
Two Huawei workers were demoted by one rank and had their pay cut by 5,000 yuan, or about $700 per month. Huawei is also freezing pay rank for 12 months for its digital marketing director. Huawei has faced tough times in the U.S. as it has been accused of being a threat to national security due to its close ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. has gone so far as to petition its allies to stay away from Huawei products.