Xiaomi has denied copying Apple’s Memoji in a recent social media post about its strikingly similar customisable Mimoji feature.
Xiaomi’s general manager of PR, Xu Jieyun, has released a statement on Chinese social network Weibo, defending the company’s Mimoji, and saying that it has absolutely nothing to do with Apple’s own Memoji.
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Xu explained the similarities in the two names, telling the world that Xiaomi got there first. He pointed out that when Xiaomi released Mi Meng – the first generation of what would eventually become Mimoji – in May 2018, the AR emoji feature was advertised as Mimoji in English-speaking countries.
He also recalled that the package name of the APK at that time was ‘Mimoji’, and that Apple actually moved to rebrand its Animoji feature to Memoji one month later, in June 2018.
Apple originally released Memoji in September 2017 as an iPhone X exclusive, Animoji. The company made the switch to Memoji in June 2018, when it decided to introduce humanoid avatars into the mix and give users the ability to recreate their own likeness in an expressive cartoon form.
At its WWDC keynote last month, Apple announced that it had given Memoji a makeover. The feature was given brand new options for makeup and accessories, allowing users to customise their avatars even further.
Despite Memoji’s popularity and Xiaomi’s Mi Meng, neither Apple nor Xiaomi was the first to create humanoid emojis for their handsets. Samsung was actually the first to bring personalised human emojis to its smartphones in 2018 with its 3D Emoji, although we noted in our review of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus that the feature was “just bad”.
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Mimoji was launched in China alongside the Xiaomi CC9 this week. The smartphone comes with a 32-megapixel front camera for improved quality selfies and better support for its nothing-at-all-like-Apple’s emoji.