When two employees of Chinese phone maker, Huawei, decided to use their iPhone with a roaming SIM card to send a new-year message at midnight through the Company’s official Twitter account, it proved to be a very costly mistake. Not only were they demoted, their salaries were reduced by 5,000 yuan. One of them even ended up getting his pay rank frozen for a year.
Huawei’s P-series handsets are in competition with Apple’s iPhone. Therefore, the Company claimed that its brand image had taken a beating when the new year tweet from these employees was sent marked “via Twitter for iPhone”.
While the tweet was removed soon after, the blooper had been sufficiently noticed and spread like wild fire across the social media.
The error took place when outsourced social-media handler, Sapient, faced a technical snag with a desktop computer, and therefore, used an iPhone with a roaming SIM card to transmit a new-year greeting at the right time, that is, midnight.
In China, where the Internet is heavily censored, Twitter is blocked. Therefore, users require a virtual private network or VPN to be able to access the same.
In the past, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Global Times the Chinese national daily, was also ridiculed online when he used his iPhone to show his support for Huawei. He had later defended himself by saying that foreign brands should not be discriminated against!