The dim view of China's capacity for innovation is a thing of the past, US high-tech writer
The widely held belief that Chinese technology companies lack innovation may no longer be true, says
"People in the West once thought Chinese technology companies were not doing anything particularly innovative," he says. "I've been struck on this trip by how that is really not the case anymore."
Stone recently met with Internet experts and students at
Stone has written about technology for 15 years. He first worked for the former Newsweek magazine, and then
Stone says he visits China every couple of years to learn about the latest Internet trends. On his most recent trip, he researched the
Xiaomi, which makes smartphones, has no physical retail outlets, but its online sales reached
"Xiaomi to me is truly an innovative and unique Chinese Internet company," Stone says. "It basically rethought all the ways that you might manufacture a phone and then market a phone. They don't sell in stores and they don't advertise on television. It is very representative of the Chinese technology industry.
"At one point, maybe it was derivative of what is happening in the West. In some ways, when you look at
Stone says the career of
Lei started his career at the Chinese software company
But what is fascinating about Lei is how he resigned as CEO of the software company
Stone says that Lei is similar to Bezos, who is analytical and strategic about the market and thinks about how he can improve it and how to be more innovative, coming up with small features that may make a difference.
Stone has been in
The book looks at how Bezos built Amazon into an e-commerce empire over 20 years and how it changed people's shopping and reading habits.
Stone says that when he was in
"But in the US and
Amazon was founded in
Though Amazon is a big company with enormous sales, its rate of return is small, Stone says, and Bezos' aim is not to make more money for shareholders, but to be very patient and ambitious about the market.
As more companies have gone into e-commerce, online shopping has been widely adopted. Bezos started to lead Amazon into new areas, such as building its own supply chain, investing in the electronic reader Kindle and cloud computing Amazon Web Server, Stone says.
Zhang Yazhe, partner of the seed fund ZhenFund, says many companies have learned from Amazon in many ways - for example, in improving shipping.
"I've been to many e-commerce warehouses, such as Jingdong and Dangdang. But when I visit Amazon warehouses I realize it is years ahead of Chinese companies."
"Amazon is a very controversial company, very polarizing. Customers love it; they can be very passionate about it. But you talk to anyone in book publishing in
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