For the vast majority of people living in the West, when you think about smartphones just two brands immediately spring to mind: Apple and Samsung. But if you live anywhere outside Europe or America, then it's likely that your first thought is not either of these giants, but the Chinese smartphone brand, Xiaomi.
Ten years ago, in October 2004, there were 812m internet users worldwide - 12.7 per cent of the global population. The web had 50m sites; a Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg, had just started Facebook, and Flickr had just been launched as a chat room for an online multiplayer game with real-time photo sharing.
The world of IT is the fast growing one with new gadgets making way into the market every day, be it laptops, phones or personal computers. Rapid development in technology is encouraging equally rapid abandonment of old models of gadgets of personal use. All that's recyclable and considered a 'waste' is landing in Asia's or Africa's backyard.
Asia offers an astounding variety of travel destinations. There are so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to decide where to go first and which to miss because of time constraints. The reality is that it's impossible to cover them all in one trip unless you're lucky enough to have plenty of time and money to spare.
My colleagues atHumane Society International's India office in Hyderabad are celebrating an historic #BeCrueltyFree campaign victory this week: India has banned the import of cosmetic products and ingredients newly tested on animals, and now becomes the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia.
It's a very black stain against it that the government of India has refused to dismantle a legal framework that allows a man to have non consensual sex with any woman (whatever his relationship to her), or to dismantle a legal framework that allows a man to legally have sex (consensual or not) with a fifteen year old child.