Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics company that has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence, has been called out on numerous occasions for quite blatantly ripping off products of major brands, namely Apple. But in an incredible move, Xiaomi has turned and warned customers off purchasing products that copy its own – a very ironic twist that shows an incredible amount of audacity.
While Xiaomi doesn’t make cheap knockoffs in the traditional sense – its products are apparently safety tested and of sufficient build standards to hit the retail market – a number of its smartphones and tablets have taken many design cues from Apple. Apple’s legal team has yet to be deployed in this matter, which is probably down to the fact that the Chinese government isn’t so strict when it comes to counterfeit goods, but where some vendors are naturally worried about Xiaomi’s presence – particularly given its impressive recent growth — it would seem that the maker of the iPhone-esque MIUI 6 is also running scared of knockoffs.
We’ve seen plenty of fake Apple Stores in China through reports, and apparently, Xiaomi is having similar issues with brick-and-mortar outlets popping up left, right and center. Incidentally, Xiaomi operates online, so doesn’t actually have any legit stores of its own, and it’s a gap in the market that small-time money makers have sought to exploit. Allied to the scores of fake Xiaomi products available on the black market in China, and it’s clear that Xiaomi has a problem, although given its conduct re Apple-like designs, it’ll struggle to dredge much sympathy from the wider tech community.
Still, company CEO Lee Jun has used social media to air his warning about fake products, and with the China’s counterfeit market propping up the entire world’s hunger for cheap produce, it seems that Xiaomi is fighting a losing battle.
Nonetheless, most will see this trend as pure karma, and while Xiaomi has managed to dodge Apple’s legal team thus far, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Cupertino company does decide to make inquiries about Xiaomi’s practices.
In the meantime, it’ll surely keep churning out new products, and while India remains an issue thanks to litigation with Ericsson, the exponential growth in China and other nations seems relentless.
(via: GizChina [Google Translate])