Rita Liao

Rita covers China for TechCrunch, with a special interest in the relationship between humans and technology.

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 in New England.

She studied political science and arts at Bowdoin College and is now back in her hometown Shenzhen.

Contact: ritaliao@pm.me

Disclosures: None

The Latest from Rita Liao

YC-backed Blabla raises $1.5M to teach English through short videos

Short, snappy, entertaining videos have become an increasingly common way for young people to receive information. Why not learn English through TikTok-like videos too? That was what prompted Angelo H

Chinese facial recognition unicorn Megvii prepares China IPO

Megvii, one of China’s largest facial recognition startups, is gearing up for an initial public offering in Shanghai. The company is working with CITIC Securities to prepare for its planned list

Despite PR storm, Pinduoduo stock and downloads stay robust

Pinduoduo, a rapidly growing Chinese e-commerce company, is weathering its PR storm after the death of an employee sparked criticism against the firm’s grueling working hours. The employee, 21 y

Vision Fund backs Chinese fitness app Keep in $360 million round

As Chinese fitness class provider Keep continues to diversify its offerings to include Peloton-like bikes and health-conscious snacks, among other things, it’s bringing in new investors to fund

China’s search giant Baidu to set up an EV-making venture

China’s search giant Baidu is extending its car ambitions from mere software to production. The company said Monday that it will set up a company to produce electric vehicles with the help of Ch

Tencent investment stays on game in 2020

It’s no secret that Tencent, the Chinese tech giant behind WeChat and a handful of blockbuster video games, is an aggressive investor. Even during 2020 when the pandemic slowed down economic act

California vegan egg startup Eat Just yokes itself to China’s fast food chain

Eat Just, a food startup from San Francisco making chicken-less eggs, has ambitions to crack the Chinese market where consumer appetite for plant-based food is growing and other Western vegan substitu

NYSE reverses plans to delist China’s three big telcos

In an unexpected turn, the New York Stock Exchange said Monday that it no longer intends to delist China’s three major telecoms operators, a decision that was originally announced on December 31

Alibaba shuts down 12-year-old music streaming app Xiami

Using Xiami was once synonymous with having good music taste in China. The music app, which debuted around 2008 and was acquired by Alibaba in 2013, is discontinuing its streaming service today, Xiami

Jack Ma’s absence from public eye sparks Twitter discussions

The world’s attention is on Jack Ma’s whereabouts after reports noted the billionaire founder of Alibaba and Ant Group had been absent from public view since late October. On October 24, M

Tesla’s China rival Xpeng to use lidar sensors from DJI affiliate Livox

The battle is heating up between Tesla and its Chinese challenger Xpeng as the latter makes clearer its stance on the future of autonomous driving. Over the weekend, Xpeng, which counts Xiaomi and Ali

China’s adaptive robot maker Flexiv raises over $100 million

As businesses around the world look to automate production lines and supply chains, companies making the robots are attracting great investor interest. The latest to get funded is Flexiv, which closed

Tencent backs Chinese healthcare portal DXY in $500M round

DXY, a 20-year-old online healthcare community for Chinese consumers and healthcare organizations like Pfizer, announced this week that it has raised $500 million in its Series E round led by private

China lays out ‘rectification’ plan for Jack Ma’s fintech empire Ant

What a whirlwind holiday for Jack Ma and his fintech empire. The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, summoned Ant Group for regulatory talks on December 26, announcing a sw

China’s e-commerce titan Alibaba hit with antitrust probe

China’s top market watchdog has begun a probe into Alibaba over alleged anti-competition practices at the e-commerce firm, the latest of Beijing’s efforts to curb the country’s ever-

TikTok parent ByteDance hiring for AI drug discovery team

ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, is entering the health industry as it seeks to diversify a business dependent on advertising and livestreaming sales. The company, which prides itself

Chinese autonomous driving startup WeRide bags $200M in funding

WeRide, one of China’s most-funded startups developing autonomous driving capabilities, said on Wednesday that it has raised a $200 million strategic round from Chinese bus maker Yutong. Mega inves

Asia’s casino capital Macau to host a CES alternative in 2021

Macau, the former Portuguese colony that is now the world’s biggest gambling center, is planning to host a tech fair next year to match the famed CES in Las Vegas. The brains behind the “B

Horizon Robotics, a Chinese rival to Nvidia, seeks to raise over $700M

In their rush to offer alternatives to advanced western chipsets, Chinese semiconductor companies are racking up large fundings from investors. Horizon Robotics, a five-year-old unicorn specializing i

Troubles rise for China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China’s top chipmaker, is under mounting pressure as reports of its CEO’s looming departure and a potential U.S. sanction conc
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