Remember a few years ago when Xiaomi was known as China's Apple? Xiaomi sometimes takes this comparison seriously enough to think it is Apple. As we told you a couple of days ago, Xiaomi introduced a feature called Mimoji which appears to be a copy of Apple's Memoji. Yes, we get that Xiaomi used its "Mi" brand to replace the first two letters of Apple's AR avatar feature, but that doesn't hide anything. Xiaomi even put out a strongly worded press release stating that it wasn't ripping off Apple. But that seems rather hard to believe considering that both Apple's Memjoi and Xiaomi's Mimoji make 3D animated avatars that move along with the user's own facial expressions. And then, after strongly denying that it copied Apple, Xiaomi inadvertently stole one of the U.S. company's ads.
Spotted by a Weibo user (via CX Live), Xiaomi mistakenly embedded an Apple advertisement on the company's product page for the new Xiaomi Mi CC9 handset on e-commerce sites JD.com and Suning. The Mi CC9 has the Mimoji feature built in. On both sites, above the Mimoji name, there is an Apple Music Memoji ad that features an AR version of musical artist Khalid singing a song. Xu Jieyun, Xiaomi’s public relations general manager, said that the Xiaomi staff uploaded the wrong content. Xiaomi later removed any material sourced from Apple on the aforementioned e-commerce platforms.
Back in 2014, departing Apple design chief Jony Ive said "I see it as theft, and it's lazy," referring to Xiaomi's penchant for copying Apple's hardware and UI designs. The comparisons to Apple had somewhat diminished over the last few years as Xiaomi has carved out a niche for itself as a manufacturer providing "value for money." Xiaomi delivered 122.6 million handsets last year, finishing fourth in the global charts behind Huawei.