Xiaomi might not be a name you have heard much in North America, but it's one of the biggest phone makers in Asia and is popular in Europe. The company is best known for its dirt cheap phones that undercut the competition on price, but it's known for something else too: ripping off other companies' ideas.
And with the launch of its now off-shoot: CC, a new brand that supposedly stands for "camera+camera", or alternatively for trendy words starting with "C" like "chic, cool, colorful and creative" (Xiaomi is not decided on what it actually means), Xiaomi takes ripping off others' ideas to the next level.
What we are referring to is the "new" Mimoji feature on the just-launched Xiaomi CC9 phone: a rip-off so obvious Xiaomi only bothered to change one letter in the original "Memoji" name that Apple uses and definitely did not bother even slightly altering the appearance of the avatars used.
Just take a look at a few of Apple's original Memoji avatars to see just exactly how strikingly similar the "new" Mimoji are to Apple's original:
The funny part is that a few days ago Xiaomi released a press release
flat out denying it has copied Apple memoji, but the fun ends when it threatens users who accuse it of the obvious borrowings with legal action:
"1. We have conducted internal audits and found no evidences that our Mimoji characters have plagiarized from any of our competitors including Apple."
"2. We introduced 米萌（English name: Mimoji）when we launched the Discovery edition of Xiaomi 8, and with the latest release we have added facial elements specially modeled for eastern faces. So far we offer 165 elements that can be combined in hundreds of millions of ways."
"As far as we know Apple's Memoji feature doesn't have automatic character generation features, which means our products have fundamental logical differences."
"3. We want to invite the Weibo user who accused us help us in our internal investigation, because we have not seen the Memoji characters used in the original Weibo on other platforms."
"We have also heard skeptical voices that suspected someone recreated characters in Memoji based on Mimoji charaters which we released, and maliciously spread them among the public to mislead people. We want to find out the truth and restore our reputation."
"4. We highly value intellectual property and have internally confirmed our attitude of zero-tolerence towards plagiarism. We will apologize if the accuser can prove we copied Memoji and will take actions against parties of responsibility (including but not limited to firing)"
"But if the accuser cannot prove so, we will take legal actions against them and potential parties behind them. Appendix: sketches of original Mimoji characters"
Xiaomi advertizes its Mimoji feature on its official webpage in China
All of this is shameful and really just a bit sad.
Just last year, Xiaomi ripped-off Apple's Animoji characters on its flagship phone, the Mi 8
, with similar, but uglier looking, lower-res virtual avatars. Prior to that it released a blatant rip-off of the Apple AirPods
, and it has mimicked Apple's designs in its phones and interface multiple times throughout the years.
Xiaomi also ripped off the Animoji that Apple launched earlier
Prior to that, Xiaomi had released its own AirDots, not to be mistaken with Apple AirPods, and the infamous Xiaomi Air headphones (pictured here)