Xiaomi, a Chinese phone manufacturer which has been accused of copying Apple products and marketing methods in the past, has decided its newest project will be showing the world how irony works. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is extremely frustrated by the number of copycats which are making knock off Xiaomi products.
After reports of significantly lower than expected sales of the company’s new Mi Power Bank battery pack, CEO Lei Jun took aim at the companies trying to copy Xiaomi’s success. During a recent press conference, Lei said “What is the biggest problem? There are many fakes. If there were no counterfeits, our sales would be double or triple. The product has been recognized by everyone.”
Xiaomi’s not silly, and although we may chuckle at this kind of statement, the company’s well aware that copy cats are also a mark of its success. It has only been in existence since 2010, but it has already skyrocketed past the competition in China. It surpassed Samsung and Apple in mobile sales and has generated $45 billion in profits. Not bad for an upstart Apple clone.
But those profits may be taking a hit if competition keeps cropping up. It turns out, making things for cheap is a profitable business. If there’s any way to undermine an existing leader, someone will find a way to do it, just as Xiaomi did to Apple.
Of course, Xiaomi isn’t hurting that much in the scheme of things. Lei said the company is projected to see $19 billion in sales this year, a sizable increase over an already successful 2014. So do save your pity for this poor, struggling, multibillion dollar corporation—just as you can likely hold your tears for Apple, the world’s most profitable company, for falling victim to copycats.