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Their punishment was detailed in an internal memo acquired by Reuters.

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

However, hidden in the tweet was one such reason to get people talking: "via Twitter for iPhone".

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.

It is not the first time the use of iPhones has caused embarrassment for Huawei, which overtook Apple as the number two smartphone maker in the world in 2018 despite being completely locked out of the United States market.

And it may have further ruffled feathers in Shenzhen after a number of popular American blogs, including 9to5mac, picked up on and ran with the since-deleted tweet, marked "via Twitter for iPhone".

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Apple on Wednesday lowered its revenue guidance for the first quarter of 2019, citing rough Chinese market conditions and fewer iPhone upgrades than expected. Two employees have also been demoted by one rank and their monthly salaries have been reduced by as much as 5,000 yuan (~$700).

In the case of the tweet Sapient was supposed to send out on January 1st, the company instead used an iPhone with a roaming SIM after it experienced its PC troubles.

Wednesday was the first time that Apple issued a warning on its revenue guidance ahead of releasing quarterly results since the iPhone was launched in 2007.

The circulation of the screenshots has "negatively affected the brand reputation of Huawei smartphones", the company said. To me it sounds as though the marketing employees were under pressure to ensure the message went out and overlooked the fact the tweet would be tagged as being sent from an iPhone. This was in addition to freezing the pay of Huawei's digital marketing director's pay for 12 months, the news outlet said.

According to an internal memo seen by Reuters and Bloomberg, Huawei blamed a supplier it hired to handle its social media operations overseas. He later said his actions were not hypocritical as foreign brands should not be discriminated against.


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