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Xiaomi president denies Apple theft asking Apple design chief to try the smartphone before criticising it


By John McCarthy | Media editor

October 14, 2014 | 3 min read

Chinese smartphone firm Xiaomi has responded to claims from a leading Apple employee that the firm is ‘lazy’ and steals Apple designs.

President and Co-founder of three-year-old Xiaomi, Lin Bin

Responding to claims from Apple’s design chief Jony Ive that the Chinese firm has perpetrated a “theft” of Apple designs, Lin Bin, president of Xiaomi, said: “Xiaomi is a very open company, which would never force anyone to use its products.

“However, one can only judge Xiaomi's gadgets after he or she has used them. I'm very willing to give a Xiaomi cell phone to him as a present, and I look forward to hearing his remarks after he uses it.”

In response to the accusation, the Economic Times reported that Hugo Barra, vice president of international markets for Xiaomi, claimed that no designs are fully original.

He said: “The iPhone 6 is using design language that HTC has had for 5 years. You cannot claim full ownership of any kind of design languages in our industry.

“Most importantly, designers have to be passionate, they have to be emotional, that's where their creativity comes from, I would expect Jony to be even more aggressive than he was in answering this question.”

Barra added: “Jony is one of the classiest people in the industry. I would bet you anything that he did not say the word Xiaomi in his answer, he is speaking generally about how he feels which is what I would expect from any world-class designer.”

Hugo Barra was previously the vice president of Android, leaving for the role at Xiaomi in August 2013.

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