Earlier this week, Xiaomi announced its new Mi CC9 smartphone that comes with a blatant copy of Apple’s popular Memoji feature, called “Mimoji.” Now that retail listings have appeared for the new Xiaomi device and animated emoji feature, an even more ridiculous thing has happened, the Memoji clone has been promoted by Xiaomi with an actual Apple Memoji ad.
Reported by Caixin Global (via Daring Fireball), Weibo user Luka spotted the absurdity and shared it on the Chinese social media site. Retail listings for the CC9 smartphone on both JD.com and Suning included promotion for the Mimoji feature, but very strangely included an embed of the Apple Music — Khalid + Memoji ad.
Xiaomi officially responded on Weibo, chalking it up to a mistake. But what are the odds of a Xiaomi staffer actually grabbing this video (originally released in February) and including it in its Mimoji materials without noticing the Apple logo and text all over the video?
Xu Jieyun, Xiaomi’s general manager for public relations, responded in a Weibo comment that the e-commerce mix-up was caused by staff “uploading the wrong content.”
As highlighted by Caixin Global, Jony Ive shared his frustration about Xiaomi back in 2014 in a Vanity Fair interview:
“When you’re doing something for the first time, you don’t know it’s going to work. You spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied. I have to be honest, the first thing I can think, all those weekends that I could have at home with my family but didn’t. I think it’s theft, and it’s lazy.”
Apple debuted Memoji with the iPhone X and TrueDepth camera system in 2017. The feature is available on the latest iPhones and iPad Pro with TrueDepth camera hardware. New Memoji features are arriving with iOS 13 which will be available to the public this fall.