Clay-filter makes Remini the new popular AI photo editor app in China

During the past May Day holiday, AI photo editor app Remini has seen increasing popularity across China’s internet. Users simply need to upload a photo and can utilise AI technology to generate corresponding clay-filter style images. According to, as of 3pm on 6 May, Remini surpassed Douyin (China’s TikTok) on the free app download list of iOS systems in China, ranking first on the list. Android mobile phone users require guidance to download Remini on Google Play, as the product currently belongs to an Italian company.

Clay-style photos flooded Xiaohongshu (RED), Weibo (China’s Twitter-like platform), Douyin, WeChat and other social platforms. Due to its likeness to Shaun the Sheep, many netizens commented: “Crazy about its ugliness” and “Too much cuteness”.

Remini’s pricing in China isn’t cheap, with a subscription price of 68 RMB (approx. 9.42 USD) per week, although new users can enjoy a free trial for a week. According to Qimai, Remini has been downloaded over 1.7 million times on iOS in China in the past week, generating more than 25K USD in revenue. Due to its high fees, Remini has also spurred a business of generating filtered photos on behalf of users, with prices ranging from 0.5 RMB to 2 RMB per photo on Goofish (China’s second-hand trading platform).

In addition to Remini, the domestic app Meitu has also recently launched a free clay filter function. In user reviews, Remini’s filter style is described as both ugly and cute, and the output sometimes features exaggerated facial features such as crossed eyes and buck teeth, which adds to its charm. As a beauty software, Meitu’s clay filter is very stable, offering big eyes, fair skin, and a sharp chin, though it seems to lack the interesting and unexpected elements of Remini.

Remini’s explosion in popularity brings to mind Miaoya Camera, which gained traction in mid-2023. However, Remini was founded and gained popularity in overseas markets earlier than Miaoya Camera. Established by a Beijing-based startup in 2019, Remini was later acquired by the Italian company Bending Spoons. It was popular in the US because of its feature for forecasting a future baby’s appearance with its “Baby AI generator”. Alongside Remini, Bending Spoons owns popular apps such as Splice, a video production and editing app, and Evernote, a note-taking app.


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