Taking on Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi after being called a 'copy-cat brand' in the Indian smartphone market, rival Realme's CEO Madhav Sheth took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying "a real innovative brand and market leader won't behave like that".
Replying to an earlier tweet by Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi Vice President and Xiaomi India Managing Director which blamed Realme for being a "copy-cat brand," Sheth tweeted: "A real innovative brand and market leader won't behave like that. Basic dignity and ethics should be maintained no matter how insecure you are of your competitor's growth".
The tug-of-war on Twitter began last week, with Jain tweeting: "Funny! A copy-cat brand mocks us. Later this brand brings ads & some ppl start blaming us. Most brands push ads but only Xiaomi is bashed. Because we've been transparent about our business model. If any journalist wants to understand our internet business, I'm happy to talk!"
When contacted, Sheth told IANS: "It does not suit brands to lower their corporate ethics and get into mud-slinging on social media as it only harms the overall industry sentiments. We are here to provide our users best of the experiences and Realme would rather focus on that," said Sheth.
In May last year, both the smartphone bosses took to Twitter, starting with Jain's Twitter outburst against Realme where he hit out at Realme 3 Pro that features Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, saying this is older than Snapdragon 675 used in Xiaomi's latest device Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Sheth reacted, saying Xiaomi is "insecure" of its success in the country. "Someone is afraid," he had tweeted.
For the calendar year 2019, Xiaomi garnered 28 per cent market share while Realme - growing at massive 255 per cent - registered 10 per cent market share while arriving on the scene in the country barely over a year ago.
"We will focus on making #realme the best in 2020. Rest is their choice, we don't bother," Sheth tweeted. According to him, Realme's growth has not declined in the country.
"In Q4, we always control supplies after the bumper online festive season as being an online brand, whatever we bring to the country, we sell and do not dump devices in warehouses. We know the demand and react accordingly.
"We had a super festive season sales and shipped less in the rest of the months in Q4 keeping the online demand in consideration. The 255 per cent growth for 2019 is a proof that Indians are in love with Realme devices and have a high respect for the brand," Sheth told IANS.
Interestingly, Xiaomi's sub-brand POCO is launching its second device as "POCO X2" next month while Realme launched X2 and X2 Pro devices late last year.