Huawei or the highway: Chinese giant whacks marketing drones for tweeting from iPhone

Ooo, that pesky firewall!

Huawei has slapped two employees on the wrist for making promotional tweets using a rival Apple's iPhone.

Citing an internal memo, Reuters said that digital marketing agency Sapient had "VPN problems" sending the tweet by desktop – because of China's great firewall. An iPhone with a roaming SIM was used instead.

Huawei may have shipped 200 million phones in 2018, but not one was good enough for its media agency. A New Year's tweet betrayed its origins on an Apple device and the company was rapidly mocked for the blunder.

Two employees have been fined ¥5,000 ($728.27) and one has been demoted, according to the memo seen by Reuters.

It's an increasingly common gaffe. Consumer electronics brands spend huge amounts on celebrities and other, er, "influencers" only to later discover them using rival brands. Huawei was embarrassed before when a "mobile spokesperson" blurted out a Huawei ad from their personal iPhone.

Samsung reportedly sued one of its "brand ambassadors" – said to be President Putin's "goddaughter" – for breach of contract for continuing to use an iPhone in public.

Back in 2013, BlackBerry ambassador Alicia Keys blamed "hackers" for posting an update to her Twitter account using an iPhone. ®

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