By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 10, 2014

Jony Ive didn’t mince words when asked at Vanity Fair’s Establishment Summit Thursday night what he thought about Xiaomi, the Chinese company whose designs often flatter Apple’s by imitation.

I don’t see it as flattery. I actually see it as theft,” he said, adding that he was talking about the issue generally, not Xiaomi specifically.

“When you’re doing something for the first time, for example with the phone, and you don’t know it’s going to work, and you spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied — I have to be honest, the first thing I think isn’t ‘ooh, that was flattering.’

“I think it’s theft and lazy. I don’t think it’s OK at all.” (Quotes from The Verge and Business Insider.]

For his answer to VF editor Graydon Carter’s question about what lessons he took away from working with Steve Jobs, we have the video:

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Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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