Xiaomi’s mascot, the Mi-Bunny rabbit, features an Ushanka, a traditional Russian hat, on which is emblazoned with a red star. Recent images reveal that Xiaomi is removing the star from its branding as it begins its international sojourn.
Xiaomi signified its intentions to go global with the hiring of the Google’s Hugo Barra, who will be leading the Chinese manufacturer’s international efforts. The brand has already been likened to international heavyweights, and is well-known in China for its handsets that are not only affordable, but also come with a great design.
The brand’s mascot, the Mi-Bunny rabbit, dons an Ushanka, a traditional Russian hat. While earlier versions of the mascot featured a red star on the Ushanka, it looks like Xiaomi is removing the star, which is commonly associated as a symbol for communism. The red star is said to signify five fingers of the worker’s hand, as well as the five continents. The star formed the emblem of the Soviet Union under the rule of the Communist Party, and is in fact banned in many European countries, as it is said to characterise a totalitarian ideology.
However, the symbol is used in the logos of many international brands, like Heineken and American retail chain Macy’s. Xiaomi’s intention to remove it might be to dodge unnecessary political connotations, which is altogether likely. The redaction of the red star was first seen on Xiaomi Taiwan’s Facebook fan page yesterday, in which its bunny mascot was seen with the Miliao logo instead of the red star. Miliao is Xiaomi’s messaging client.
In another image, the red star looks like it has been painted over.
However, in a cartoon yesterday featuring the bunny, the red star is visible, so we’re not sure whether it was a mistake by Xiaomi or whether it has been created at an earlier date. Whatever may the case be, it is clear that Xiaomi is ensuring that it does not make any errors, however slight, that might give cast it in a negative light in the media.