A confirmation released to Marketing corroborated the claims of Peter Tarka, a CGI illustrator, stating that a Xiaomi designer indeed used Tarka’s artworks in one of Xiaomi’s websites without his consent. The said employee was immediately dismissed after Tarka issued statements to Twitter exposing the incident. The unauthorised use of the designs included a few artworks commissioned by Xiaomi’s competitor, LG.
“We sincerely apologise to Peter Tarka, and for the lapses in our approval process. The employee’s actions go against our company values of respecting intellectual property, and we will further strengthen our internal approval processes to prevent this from happening again,” a spokesperson conveyed to Marketing.
The image, which was used as the lead banner on Xiaomi Spain’s website, has since been taken down and the company has reached out to Tarka to express its apology.
In a Twitter statement, the London-based artist said that the image used by Xiaomi utilised two artworks done by him for the LG brand as well as one of his art installations without permission.
The CGI illustrator said the work for LG was part of a big social campaign for LG Signature products which was published in March. According to him, the copycat used all the images but placed some slight retouches.
LG has not responded to Marketing‘s request for comments.
Tarka’s post tagging Xiaomi’s account drew over 400 retweets and 600 likes in two days.
Another post on Reddit garnered more than 3,000 upvotes and 180 comments. Responding to his fans and followers, Tarka is looking for some compensation from Xiaomi, though he expects getting them to be “hard.”
Recently, Xiaomi has been expanding its presence in Asia. It launched new outlets in Malaysia, partnered with video-on-demand streaming provider HOOO in Indonesia, and filed an IPO in Hong Hong.
As told to Marketing last September, Xiaomi confided that advertising is an “integral part” of its Internet services, at the same time admitting that it has been adding advertisements to its in-built android software called MIUI. -/TISG