“There’s this question that’s been asked constantly which is, ‘When does China acquire a sort of industrial design culture?’”
With the current focus on China and smartphone technology, internet guru and NYU Professor Clay Shirky, who has lived in Shanghai for the last year, weighs in on China’s move from a manufacturer to a global innovator. His new book, LITTLE RICE: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and The Chinese Dream offers insight and context on how Xiaomi--meaning “little rice” in mandarin-- has quietly become the world’s third largest seller of smartphones after Samsung and Apple, and is the most valuable startup ever. This homegrown smartphone company became globally “cool,” and thrives in modern China as it faces new challenges from competitors in and outside of the country.
Little Rice address how a startup like Xiaomi is entwined with the political and economic future of China, offering insights into China’s balancing act between freedom and control. An important question Shirky considers is whether the company will settle down and be design centric for all of its product lines or if there is some advantage to both its history of design copying and keeping a design centric product line simultaneously.
“China’s design culture is kicking off now,” Shirky said.
Little Rice, as the second book in the Columbia Global Reports’ series went on sale on Oct 13, 2015
Also, you may want to check out the video of Clay Shirky speaking about Xiaomi and China as a tech originator.
Written by Charlotte San Juan