Oops! Xiaomi founder backtracks after being caught using an iPhone

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iPhone 11 Max Pro cameras
Needless to say, this is not a Xiaomi phone.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Xiaomi CEO and co-founder Lei Jun has been caught posting a message using his trusty iPhone rather than one of his company’s smartphones.

In a recent post on Weibo, which is China’s answer to Twitter, the Xiaomi exec recommended a series of books to his followers. But he also inadvertently advertised Apple — since the post reveals it was made with an iPhone.

Spot the error.
Photo: GizChina

The Weibo message didn’t hang around long. It was swiftly deleted and reposted using a Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. But not before eagle-eyed fans, and the website GizChina, had noticed the snafu and taken screenshots. According to Xiaomi partner Pan Jiutang, the explanation is that Lei was testing a competitor’s device when he made the post.

That may be true, but it’s nonetheless an embarrassing oversight. If Apple CEO Tim Cook started tweeting using a Samsung Galaxy, for instance, he would be the butt of tech jokes for months afterward.

Xiaomi boss is a big iPhone fan

The Xiaomi boss’s apparent fondness for the iPhone shouldn’t come as a big surprise, of course. He came to prominence, along with Xiaomi, for his tendency to dress like Steve Jobs. The company released a string of iPhone lookalikes. And, in 2018, Lei said he was inspired to get into tech after reading a book about Jobs and his rivalry with Bill Gates.

Still, regardless of how much of a fan you are, it’s always smart business sense to promote your own products in public.