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An internal memo showed that China's Huawei Technology punished two employees for the New Year Greetings they sent on the company's official Twitter account by means of an iPhone.

The company's director of digital marketing and one unnamed employee have had their monthly salary slashed by 5,000 yuan (£572), according to a memo widely shared on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo. Once pay is restored it will not increase again until at least twelve months have elapsed.

In an internal Huawei memo seen by Reuters, corporate senior vice-president and director of the board Chen Lifang said, "the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand". Washington is also reportedly encouraging US allies to stop using the Chinese company's phones and network equipment. So in order to post the tweet on time at midnight, they resorted to using an iPhone with a roaming SIM card in it. One of the employees is also facing a pay rank freeze for 12-months.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalistic tabloid Global Times, was mocked online a year ago after he used his iPhone when expressing support for Huawei and domestic peer ZTE Corp. The tweet posted from the iPhone was quickly deleted by the company but not before many spotted the details.

Since Twitter is blocked in China, Sapient - the social media handler-has to use a VPN to access the service.

Huawei are said to be dealing with the people responsible for the blunder. Apple's iPhone is a major competitor to Huawei's line of smartphones.

Huawei, which recently overtook Apple to become the second largest smartphone vendor globally, has not yet issued an official public statement regarding the issue. As a brand ambassador, you are supposed to be using the product that you are promoting, and that line was even in her contract with Samsung.

Tensions with Huawei especially have reached new heights since its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada last month at Washington's request, on suspicion of engaging in conspiracies to defraud multiple financial institutions and contravene U.S. sanctions on Iran, Sputnik reported. The content itself was trivial, significantly spicy, the four words that were displayed directly in the message were: "Via Twitter for iPhone".