The QQ remained at the centre of an industrial copyright and intellectual rights controversy, as General Motors claimed the QQ was highly similar to the Chevrolet Spark/Daewoo Matiz. GM executives demonstrated the extent of the design duplication, noting for example that the doors of the Chery QQ and the doors of the Chevrolet Spark are interchangeable without modification.
- GM China Group indicated the two vehicles "shared remarkably identical body structure, exterior design, interior design and key components."
- MotorAuthority.com and Car and Driver called the QQ a "carbon copy."
- The International Herald Tribune, in a 2005 article, referred to the QQ as a clone.
Looking at this controversy on a global stage, the Detroit News reported that "the dispute reflects the confusion, risks and ambitions in China's new auto industry, where global carmakers are battling pugnacious upstarts for a piece of what may become the world's largest auto market."
In Iran, the Chevrolet Spark/Daewoo Matiz had been being assembled by local company Kerman Khodro since the year 2000 in a joint venture with the South Korean GM Daewoo. However, the crisis at Daewoo resulted in a take-over by the American corporation General Motors, which then put a ban on Iran, and stopped supplying CKD kits to the Iranian company. As a result, Kerman Khodro licensed the Chery QQ car as a replacement, and put it into production at their subsidiary MVM.
Although once the least expensive in its class, the Chery QQ may face a challenge from the Tata Nano from Tata Motors, India, currently projected to be less expensive when it arrives.