When you’re as huge and successful a smartphone manufacturing company as Chinese firm Xiaomi is, saying that your devices are the best is understandable. However, that swagger landed the company in hot water in China, reports Tech in Asia.
According to the report, rival smartphone company Cong brought attention to Xiaomi’s alleged use of terms like “best,” resulting in the Beijing Ministry of Industry and Commerce looking into the matter. The problem here is with China’s new ad law, which forbids the use of superlatives, such as “best,” in advertisements. For companies found in violation of this law, penalties start at RMB 200,000, or $31,000, with stricter penalties possibly brought into play depending on the severity of the violation.
In the case of Xiaomi, Cong CEO Tan Wesheng was concerned about Xiaomi using phrases like “first-class” and “the king of screens,” among others, on the company’s website. As the outlet pointed out, however, this could just be a case of sour grapes on the part of Cong and its CEO. Xiaomi is, by far, the reigning smartphone powerhouse in the Chinese market, and considering how Cong released a smartphone of its own to little fanfare, it’s not hard to see why Cong could try to grasp at straws.
Also consider the fact that Wesheng previously owned Red Pepper, a now-defunct Xiaomi competitor that was fined roughly $23,500 for publicly making false statements about a competitor.
Obviously, a company’s use of superlatives isn’t all that surprising. There are times, however, when such boasting can backfire, as OnePlus and one of the co-founders can certainly attest to. There are also times when using superlatives gets ridiculous, such as with Apple, which constantly uses the words “magical” and “amazing” in its marketing. Would that get the firm in trouble in China.