Xiaomi reveals Mimoji 3D avatars

Xiaomi announced its new Mi CC9 smartphone earlier this month, and, along with it, showcased a new feature it calls “Mimoji” — a direct rip-off of Apple’s own Memoji, leaning heavily on the familiar art style utilized by Apple.

Xiaomi’s Mimoji are 3D avatars that are meant to represent the device’s owner, with plenty of customization options to help them stand out. However, aside from the name itself, Xiaomi is also being taken to task for using a similar art style to Apple’s own Memoji, making it pretty obvious this is a direct rip-off of Apple’s creation rather than just an inspiration.

However, the insanity doesn’t stop there.

As first reported by Caixin Global (via Daring Fireball), Xiaomi actually uploaded an Apple advertisement for Memoji to show off its own Mimoji feature. That’s right: Xiaomi apparently thinks the best way to advertise Mimoji is by showing off Apple’s Memoji. Xiaomi used the video to show off Mimoji on official landing pages for the Mi CC9 smartphone on both JD.com and Suning.

Xiaomi’s augmented-reality avatar set, Mimoji, is definitely not a clone of Apple’s Memoji — they just look very similar and happen to share identical-sounding names — the Chinese company clarified last week.

But ads for Apple’s Memoji and Apple Music have been embedded on Xiaomi’s product page for the Mi CC9 smartphone on e-commerce platforms JD.com and Suning, in lieu of original Xiaomi graphics, a Weibo user found on Friday.

The ad that Xiaomi used is the Apple Music promo “Khalid + Memoji”, which shows off the popular karaoke Memoji, where the digital avatar sings a song playing in the background. Here’s the Apple ad, which Apple initially shared back in February of this year:

Xiaomi actually responded on the Chinese social network Weibo, saying that staff uploaded “the wrong content”, and that the inclusion of an Apple ad for Memoji to show off Xiaomi’s new Mimoji feature was just an accident.

It has been (almost) a couple of years since Apple initially showcased the Animoji and Memoji features, which launched alongside the iPhone X and the TrueDepth camera system in that smartphone. Since then, Apple has continued to expand Animoji and Memoji, including supporting the feature in the latest iPad Pro models, adding new customization options, and adding new Animoji characters.

As for Xiaomi? It feels like a stretch of the imagination to suggest that uploading the Apple Music Memoji ad was a mistake, solely because this is Xiaomi we’re talking about here. The company has blatantly ripped off Apple’s creations in the past, including the AirDots (taking on the AirPods), and a Windows PC (swinging for the MacBook Air), among so many other cases.

It’s all pretty comical at this point, but obviously Apple isn’t laughing.