For a company that is the biggest smartphone OEM vendor of China, certain practices of Xiaomi are down right shady and don’t really inspire confidence. The company blatantly keeps ripping off the design language of Apple for its devices and their software, and is frequently accused of breaching the privacy of their users’ and stealing their data.
Now, it looks like Apple is not the only company that Xiaomi has been stealing from indirectly. While building MIUI, Xiaomi ripped many features of the extremely popular open-source framework — Xposed — without giving any credit to the original developer.
Here’s what Xposed framework developer rovo89 had said about this whole matter back in May:
MIUI forked Xposed to build something for their ROMs. When I confronted them with the evidence and asked if they at least give proper credit (as required by the license), they apologized and said it was debugging code that wasn’t meant to be in public releases. They said it would be removed “soon”.
One and a half months later, people report that Dexspy is still present. There was a GitHub repository where they had published the source code. I checked it and didn’t find any additional code/features, they just removed some resource-related code. And they renamed everything, so there wasn’t a single mention of “Xposed” anymore. The “NOTICES” file in the original project mentions Tungstwenty and me as authors. They removed these lines.
So it’s not about forgetting to give credit, they intentionally obfuscated whose work they built upon (you can’t even say that, as they didn’t add any value themselves).
It has been more than a couple of months since this matter, but Xiaomi is yet to give proper credits to rovo89 in any of their projects that forked the Xposed framework.
We have reached out to Xiaomi for a comment on this matter and will update this post if we hear anything from them.
Updated: As pointed out by Reddit user 45452F4345, Xiaomi removed all traces of Xposed framework from the Mi 3w MIUI ROM with version 4.5.9 and also updated its Github to provide due credits to the original developer of Xposed. Interestingly though, the XDA thread does not mention anything about this.