China’s biggest smartphone maker, which is already embroiled in several geopolitical rows, so far isn’t doing itself any favors when it comes to optics in the new year. Just before midnight on December 31, 2018, two Huawei employees sent a tweet from the company’s official account wishing a “Happy #2019 from all of us at Huawei.” It was a nice enough tweet–but the problem was the employees sent it from an iPhone–an embarrassing faux pas. The tweet was quickly removed, but not before being screen-capped and widely shared on Twitter.
That was fast pic.twitter.com/y6k0FJF7Gq
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) January 1, 2019
But that minor embarrassment has now turned into a bigger PR nightmare for the company. In a memo sent to employees and leaked to Bloomberg, Huawei has decided to punish the two employees involved in the tweet by docking their monthly salaries by 5,000 yuan (about $730 a month) as well as demoting them a level in the company’s hierarchy. One of the workers punished for the mixup was a head of Huawei’s digital marketing team. Besides shaming the two employees involved, the memo also said Huawei departments must now “tighten management of suppliers and partners” after “the incident exposed flaws in our processes and management.”
So much for a happy new year.