By Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky, the most influential and unique thinkers at the internet's results on society, spends a yr in Shanghai chronicling China's try to develop into a tech originator--and what it ability for the longer term process globalization.
Read Online or Download Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream PDF
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Extra info for Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream
Mobile phones, in other words, have mostly been just another Chinese export—the cheap products for poorer markets are thrown together at minimum cost, while expensive products for the increasingly global group of well-heeled customers are designed elsewhere, whether in Seoul or San Jose, the pattern that led Apple to add the phrase “Designed in California” to its packaging in the first place. This pattern of “designers elsewhere, manufacturers here” has been the norm since the British turned southern China into their workshop in the 1800s, but it is starting to shift.
The Westphalian system rests on two assumptions that have weakened over the centuries: First is the idea that what happens inside a country can be kept separate from its effect on the world, and second, the idea that economics and politics are different spheres. In the twentieth century, and especially after the Second World War, these fictions didn’t put too much strain on the system. It was at least possible to pretend that national politics were separate from international politics, and that we could have global economics but mostly local politics.
The Chinese government has spent the last twenty years building the largest and most pervasive system of surveillance and censorship in the world. Yet China’s fortune and future clearly lie with the opening up it has conducted for the last forty years. This requires the government to allow local entrepreneurs to have connections with the outside world for import and export, and with them, the freedom to experiment. S. And yet the current government is clearly convinced that it cannot afford the same kind of openness to new ideas among the general population, so the economic opening up is being accompanied by the sort of broad and deep media crackdown not seen in China since the late 1980s.