Huawei 'cuts employees pay' after they tweet from iPhone

Angela Lang  CNET

According to the memo obtained by Reuters, Huawei has slammed the employees by demoting them and reducing their pay as the incident has brought damage to company's brand, said VP Chen Lifang.

Unfortunately, the tweet got stamped with "via Twitter for iPhone" in the process. Apple CEO cited weaker-than-expected iPhone sales in China as the company lowered its quarterly revenue estimates Wednesday.

Many Chinese companies have a Twitter presence, and even the official news agency, Xinhua, uses Twitter to promote its articles - to the consternation of many Chinese social media users who have accused the government of double standards.

Huawei, which overtook Apple as the world's second-largest smartphone vendor by volume in January-September, declined to comment on internal issues when contacted by Reuters. It was revealed that their social media activities were outsourced to Sapient, but the person that was managing the account had problems with VPN on the desktop computer.

More news: Markets Right Now: Asian shares mixed as Japan tumbles

Last year, Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, also drew criticism when he made statements supporting Huawei, despite using an iPhone himself.

One unnamed employee and Huawei's director of digital marketing were demoted and had their monthly salary slashed by 5,000 yuan (US$730), according to the memo widely shared on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo and seen by AFP.

The United States, which recommended against using Huawei and ZTE solutions, warned its partners that the two companies may be spying for Beijing, though no evidence has been offered in this regard until now.

China's internet management policies mean some foreign sites including Twitter, Google and Facebook can not be accessed on the Chinese mainland without a virtual private network (VPN) or a non-mainland SIM card. That's around £575, or 57.5 per cent of an iPhone XS that you absolutely shouldn't tweet from if you work for Huawei. Highlighting this blunder internally, the company said that this mistake showed procedural in compliance and management oversight. He later said his actions were not hypocritical as foreign brands should not be discriminated against.

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