Chinese search giant Baidu’s efforts to guilt-trip Japanese users of its IME software into not uninstalling it by having a cute nekomimi maid beg them for forgiveness has been attracting much attention of late – most of it scathingly negative.
Baidu’s IME (input method editor, essential software which facilitates entry of Chinese characters with a normal keyboard) differs from those of Microsoft and Google in one particularly unusual respect – it pleads with them not to uninstall it by confronting them with a tearful nekomimi maid:
Please tell me where I’m lacking:
You installed without my knowledge!
Thanks to you, my PC slowed down!
Your conversion should be better.
I’ve tried so hard up to now, won’t you please use me a little more?
1. You can enter all kinds of creepy emoticons and smilies with me.
2. You can also easily create ascii art.
However annoying being hectored by a nekomimi maid uninstaller is, the incredibly ominous prospect of running closed-source software from the flagship Internet company of a government of thieves and hackers was probably already a lost cause anywhere outside of China, let alone in Japan:
“The fact it is made in China is reason enough for it not to be happening.”
“I don’t know who would install this in the first place…”
“It does mention being installed without your knowledge.”
“If so, it reeks of spyware…”
“So she installs herself without your permission and then starts weeping and making a fuss when you try to get rid of her?”
“Quite a mixed message consider she calls her functionality ‘creepy’ even as she is tearfully begging you not to uninstall.”
“Pretty obvious what China has in mind with this.”
“It’s a 2D honey trap.”
“It’s cute and playful, I like it. If it weren’t Chinese it would be good.”
“It seems they already know why their software sucks, so why ask?”
“Be afraid of what she’ll do to your PC if you go through with the uninstall.”