When Xiaomi made ‘fun of’ Realme -BB

NEW DELHI: Xiaomi has always faced the brunt of critics and consumers alike when it comes to pushing advertisements on their smartphones for quite some time now. While most Chinese rivals have silently relied on content suggestions and ads to milk more revenue from consumers after selling a particular smartphone, it became a big talking point when rival Realme CEO Madhav Sheth publicly made fun of Xiaomi for pushing ads in its phones.

Back in March 2019, Sheth during the launch of Realme 3 smartphone on stage claimed, ‘We don’t sell ads, we sell phones’. But things changed by the end of 2019. Realme surprised its users when ads started to popup in its phones during the later part of the year. While Realme was quick to announce that it will offer an option to remove ads from its phones.

Though Realme gives users the option to disable ads, this time it seems to be Xiaomi’s turn to hit back.

In a post on Twitter recently, Xiaomi Global VP and India MD Manu Jain said, “Most brands push ads but only Xiaomi is bashed. Because we’ve been transparent about our business model.” Without naming Realme, Jain termed it as a “copy-cat brand”.

Xiaomi India head of marketing Anuj Sharma also joined the conversation on Twitter. He even indirectly accused Realme of “paying certain influencers.”

“Backtracking on your own words because you attacked something you didn’t understand as a business model is one thing. But a brand trying to deflect focus by paying certain influencers is a new low [SIC],” tweeted Sharma.

Realme claims that it will include a provision to disable all the ads with a single tap. Realme will roll out the ads in India to all its phones running ColorOS 6 and above with the next update. Users can recognise the ads by “commercial content recommendation”, a long-winded term coined by Realme. These ads (or commercial content recommendation) will appear in the Phone manager app and Security Check page by default after the update gets installed. To disable them, Realme phone owners can go to Settings > Additional settings > Get recommendations and then switch it off. That’s it.

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