Rita Liao

Rita covers China for TechCrunch, with a special interest in how technology affects people, especially their minds.

Before her previous writing stints with Tech in Asia and TechNode, she managed communications for SOSV’s accelerators in Asia. At one point, she worked for a documentary production company and a mindfulness retreat center — both in New England.

She studied political science and arts at Bowdoin College and is now back in her native Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of Hardware.

Email: ritaliao@pm.me

Disclosures: None

The Latest from Rita Liao

China’s electric carmaker WM Motor pulls in $1.47 billion Series D

Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motor just pocketed an outsize investment to fuel growth in a competitive landscape increasingly coveted by foreign rival Tesla. The five-year-old company raised 10

TikTok fact checks: US IPO, Chinese ownership, $5B in taxes

There is no shortage of speculation and reports around TikTok’s future in the U.S. Amid a swirl of rumors, TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance issued a statement (in Chinese) on Monday morni

China’s vaping giant Relx gears up for US entry

The backlash against vaping in the United States has not deterred a Chinese challenger from entering the world’s largest vaping market. Relx, one of China’s biggest e-cigarette companies,

TikTok’s Chinese rival Kuaishou becomes a popular online bazaar

In China, short video apps aren’t just for mindless time killing. These services are becoming online bazaars where users can examine products, see how they are grown and made and ask sellers que

Southeast Asia’s East Ventures on female VCs, foreign investment, consolidation

Melisa Irene‘s path to becoming a partner at one of Southeast Asia’s most esteemed venture capital firms is an unconventional one. “I always consider myself to be quite lucky,”

China tops 110 million 5G users in less than a year

More than 110 million users in China have signed up for 5G plans, announced president of the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a think tank under the telecoms watchd

Neither Microsoft nor Oracle gets to buy TikTok US: Chinese state media

What a whirlwind of a Monday morning. Shortly after news broke that Microsoft is out of the picture in bidding for TikTok’s U.S. operations, and rumors began circulating that Oracle is the winne

Oracle boots out Microsoft and wins bid for TikTok, reports say

Update: The Oracle -TikTok tie-up is confirmed as a concept. Oracle put out a release earlier today saying that is party to an agreement in which it would partner with TikTok, and that the proposal ha

Huawei phones will start running on HarmonyOS in 2021

Huawei is planning to launch its proprietary Harmony operating system on smartphones in 2021, the firm announced at its annual developer conference in Dongguan on Thursday. The readiness of HarmonyOS

Viral article puts the brakes on China’s food delivery frenzy

For China’s food delivery workers, life can feel like a constant battle with algorithms, traffic police and disgruntled customers. An essay detailing the hazardous work conditions of China&#8217

China presents ‘global standard for data security’

As tensions between the U.S. and China heighten over data security issues, Beijing took a proactive step to unveil a “data security initiative” that it believes can serve as “a globa

China bans Scratch, MIT’s programming language for kids

China’s enthusiasm for teaching children to code is facing a new roadblock as organizations and students lose an essential tool: the Scratch programming language developed by the Lifelong Kinder

Qualcomm-powered Chinese XR startup Nreal raises $40 million

Nreal, one of the most-watched mixed reality startups in China, just secured $40 million from a group of high-profile investors in a Series B round that could potentially bring more adoption to its po

Xiaomi backs Dyson’s Chinese challenger Dreame in $15 million round

Once known for its affordable smartphones, Xiaomi has in recent years been transforming itself into an online mall for consumer electronics by making deals and building relationships with hundreds of

PropertyGuru lands $220M from KKR and TPG to conquer Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s leading property listing company PropertyGuru is making great strides across the region as it secures a fresh investment of SG$300 million ($220 million), it announced this week

China’s logistics titan YTO nets close to $1B from Alibaba in overseas push

E-commerce has brought in a logistics boom in China over the last decade, transforming small-town delivery businesses into multinational corporations. One leading player, YTO, is gearing up for intern

TikTok parent ByteDance says it will ‘strictly follow’ China export controls

While Beijing has repeatedly spoken out against Washington’s pressure on Huawei, it has remained relatively quiet amid TikTok’s recent struggles in the U.S. As the red-hot video app approa

Podcast is social: How China’s Lizhi makes audio interactive

For Marco Lai, the founder of Chinese podcast network Lizhi, radio has always been social. Twenty years ago, the entrepreneur was a host at a radio station in southern China. He ran a late-night progr

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigns after 100 days

Kevin Mayer, the chief executive of TikTok, announced on Wednesday that he is resigning, just over 100 days after the former Disney executive joined the world’s largest short-video app in mid-M

Meet the startups from Brinc’s first online Demo Day

Like other accelerators, Brinc hasn’t let 2020 get in the way of its program for early-stage startups. The firm is known for focusing on food technology, health tech, clean energy and hardware, and
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