When you tweet, your tweet will often be marked with details about the specific client software and computing device used to create the tweet. And this can be a source of major embarrassment for people who do social media work for smartphone manufacturers.
In the final minutes of 2018, the official @Huawei account wished everyone happy New Year. It was a nice enough sentiment, but people quickly noticed that it was posted using an iPhone—which is awkward when the whole purpose of the account is to promote Huawei’s phones.
Huawei deleted the tweet, but not before people captured screenshots of it.
“The incident caused damage to the Huawei brand,” Huawei official Chen Lifang said in an internal memo on Thursday.
Huawei has reportedly docked the pay of the two employees by 5,000 yuan ($ 728) and reduced each employee’s rank by one level in Huawei’s corporate hierarchy.
Reuters explains how the mistake occurred:
The mistake occurred when outsourced social media handler Sapient experienced “VPN problems” with a desktop computer so [it] used an iPhone with a roaming SIM card in order to send the message on time at midnight, Huawei said in the memo.
Twitter, like several foreign services such as those from Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc, is blocked in China, where the Internet is heavily censored. To gain access, users need a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
While the actual tweet was apparently made by Sapient staffers, Huawei held two employees responsible for failing to oversee the process effectively. According to Bloomberg, one of them was head of Huawei’s digital marketing team.
Huawei isn’t the only Android smartphone maker to suffer this kind of embarrassment. Last month, an official Samsung Twitter account tweeted from an iPhone. Back in 2014, an official LG account posted a tweet mocking the iPhone for its “bendgate” problems using an iPhone.