- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Columbia Global Reports (October 13, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0990976327
- ISBN-13: 978-0990976325
- Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream
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"A perfect primer for anyone looking to do business in China."
"I will read anything Clay writes, but when he's writing about the intersection of Chinese manufacturing and the Western Internet, man, is that ever in my zone."
--Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"Shirky accomplishes more in 128 pages than most books would in 1,000. LITTLE RICE is a company profile, industry narrative, country history lesson, political dissection (sometimes bordering on polemic), a review of the current state of globalization, and discussion of its future."
"Although the author’s technical competence is evident throughout this interesting book, his ideas are expressed in simple, clear language that should appeal to anyone with an interest in China, and not just those with a special interest in technology." Lanxin Xiang, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy
"A compact, accessible, and intelligently delivered update on China's evolving economic and political front via one particularly accomplished electronics venture."
"Shirky investigates the rise of the Xiaomi start-up culture...Recommended for those who enjoy reading about how mobile technology works and particularly in exploring its impact on global business."
About the Author
Clay Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. He is the author of two recent books on the subject, "Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age" (2010) and "Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations" (2008). He holds a joint appointment at New York University, as an associate arts professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and as an associate professor in the journalism department. He is also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and he was the Edward R. Murrow Visiting Lecturer at Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy in 2010. A graduate of Yale, his writing appears frequently in "The New York Times, Wired, The Wall Street Journal," and "Harvard Business Review," and his TED Talks have been viewed by millions. He lives in New York City.
Top customer reviews
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I didn't know anything about this topic yesterday and now, after finishing the book, I have a number of openings, both an overview of what China is like and resources to find out more. Thanks Clay!
The book is published by Columbia Global Reports which aims, "to combine the immediacy of narrative power of journalism with the intellectual ambition and acuity of scholarship." The book succeeds in one out of four, it harnesses impressive narrative power to communicate a lot of important information in a more or less coherent story. That's much more pleasant to read than dry analysis, and much easier to understand and retain.
It's not as good on immediacy, most of the direct reporting is from 2011 to 2013, and is good story telling to illustrate points in the more serious accounts, but all the important stuff is from the general business press, not direct experience, not primary sources. The lack of primary sources also disqualify it as scholarship, but in any event, it's neither ambitious nor acute. It's a description of the Chinese technology business at a point in time, with a lot of context, but there are no conclusions or insights.
Even if your specific interest is in the history of Xiaomi, there are a number of more focused English-language accounts (such as China's Disruptors). But if you want the wide-angle view, Little Rice does a better job. It's not really an either/or choice, Little Rise is a quick, fun read that provides a brief immersion into some important global trends viewed from Shanghai and Hong Kong (I don't say "viewed from China" as there are other Chinese perspectives).
One minor quibble is the book starts with a map of the world, with China relegated to the right margin, in a projection that makes it look one-fourth the size of Greenland instead of more than four times as big. A book hoping to shift a Western reader's viewpoint in a Sinocentric direction could make a better start with an equal-area projection that puts China in the center.
In the western world we have seen manufacturing move so much to China,that to find anything not made in China,is a rarity today.
This book is centered around the company Xiaomi ( since hardly anyone in the West has ever heard o fit,I'll give you the pronounciation "Show Me".)They are the most important mobile phone manufacturers in the world right now.It is the first Chinese phone manufacturer to compete globally and successfully,not only in price but also in innovation,design and service.
If you want to know what is driving the economy and responsible for the stupendous growth in China in the last couple of decades;you will quickly learn why in this book..In spite of these tremendous advances,the question has to be asked;will it continue.Already,it has surpassed anything that any country has been able to accomplish.
There are many questions,aspects,and whatnot that are to be looked at about China; its economy,its huge masses of people,its politics and where and how it will fit into the community of world countries;but this book will give you a miniscule look at it all.It is well written and unbelievably informative in only 134 pages.