Did Tesla copycat a cat bed from another company?
Tesla has had a whole slew of bad press this year—from people getting stuck in its cars to misaligned doors on the Cybertruck to a slew of investigations over the safety of its driver-assist features.
Now add a case of cat burglary — speaking very literally — and the meowing is getting so loud we can hear it from overseas. Yep, that's right: Tesla is selling a cardboard cat bed in China that looks almost exactly like another cat bed sold by another company, called Hulumao, as spotted by the Taiwan-run news outlet Focus Taiwan.
"Dear Mr. Elon Musk, although we don't know each other, very thank you for promoting our product with Tesla logo on it and selling it in China," the company wrote in an Instagram post. "Meanwhile, we are sure we have never manufactured this model for Tesla company in China nor licensed the design to you. There must be something misunderstood in this matter."
Indeed, Tesla's design does look strikingly similar to Hulumao's.
Hulumao founder Hsiao Shih-chang started the company in 2016 and had sold several different cat beds, including the one that Tesla seems to have lifted, Focus Taiwan reported.
The cat bed in question won a 2017 design award, according to Hulumao, years before Tesla put their own cat bed on sale.
The apparent theft came to light when a Taiwanese YouTuber named Jeff Young pointed out the blatant similarities between the Hulumao design and Tesla, according to the site's reporting.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor concern for Tesla. But it's one more example of sloppy work and disregarding the intellectual property of others — and it's not clear Tesla can afford the hit with Chinese drivers, who seem to have cooled on buying Teslas recently.
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