"But I do not think that my winning can be seen as representing anything. I think that China has many outstanding authors, and their great works should also be recognised by the world.
"Next, I'm going to put most of my efforts into creating my new works. I will keep working hard, and I thank everyone. As to whether I go to Sweden to receive the prize, I will wait for word from the organisers about arrangements."
Peter Englund, head of the Swedish Academy, said Mo was "at home with his dad" when he was told of the award.
"He said he was overjoyed and terrified," Englund told Swedish television. "He has such a damn unique way of writing. If you read half a page of Mo Yan you immediately recognise it as him."
The award citation said Mo used a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives to create a world which was reminiscent of the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
At the same time, he found a "departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition", the Academy said.
Englund said Mo offers "a unique insight into a unique world in a quite unique manner."
His style is "a fountain of words and stories and stories within stories, then stories within the stories within the stories and so on. He's mesmerising," Englund told Reuters television.
Mo is best known in the West for "Red Sorghum", which portrayed the hardships endured by farmers in the early years of communist rule and was made in a film directed by Zhang Yimou. His books also include "Big Breasts and Wide Hips" and "The Republic of Wine".