Clay Shirky

Jigsaw Presents: "Little Rice"

Clay Shirky

Talk: Jigsaw Presents: "Little Rice"

Almost unknown to the rest of the globe, Xiaomi has become the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer. Its high-end phones are tailored to Chinese and emerging markets, where it outsells even Samsung. Xiaomi its name literally means "little rice" is landing squarely in this shift in China's economy. But the remarkable rise of Xiaomi from startup to colossus is more than a business story, because mobile phones are special. The common desiderata of the global population, mobile phones offer the kind of freedom and connectedness that autocratic countries are terrified of. China's fortune and future clearly lie with "opening up" to the global market, requiring it to allow local entrepreneurs to experiment.

Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky is an American writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies.