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

BlackBerry makes China push as the OS for Xpeng smart cars

The once-pioneering BlackBerry is pretty much out of the smartphone manufacturing game, but the Canadian company has been busy transitioning to providing software for connected devices, including smar

Pinduoduo’s latest aim: Sell $145 billion of farm produce in 2025

Still working to turn a profit and shake off its fake-goods reputation, China’s e-commerce upstart Pinduoduo set itself another ambitious goal for 2025: surpass 1 trillion yuan or $145 billion a

China is building a GitHub alternative called Gitee

The technological decoupling between the U.S. and China has been a boon to Chinese firms — from chipmakers for smartphones and electric vehicles through to software — that are the backbone

JD.com’s 1-year-old health unicorn to get $830M from Hillhouse

In recent years, China’s online shopping titans have been muscling into the prescription drug market. When JD.com, Alibaba’s archrival, realized the health market spans well beyond retail,

Hong Kong’s food e-commerce startup DayDayCook raises $20 million

The food blogging community in China is booming, and many creators have been cashing in big time by touting food products to loyal followers, a business model that has lured investors. This week, Hong

DST Global pumps $35 million into Asian e-grocer Weee!

Coronavirus stay-home orders have sparked an unprecedented demand for grocery delivery around the world. Now investors are clamoring to bet on promising players in the field. That includes DST Global,

Tencent takes minority stake in French casual games maker Voodoo

Tencent just added another portfolio member to its expanding global gaming empire to up its game in mobile casual plays. Voodoo, the French company that has amassed 300 million monthly active users fr

Text editor Notepad++ banned in China after ‘Stand with Hong Kong’ update

The website of Notepad++ is banned in China as of Monday, “obviously due to” its release of editions named “Free Uyghur” and “Stand with Hong Kong,” the source code

TikTok rival Likee reaches 150M monthly users worldwide

As TikTok’s fate remains in flux, its smaller rival Likee has been making waves around the world, garnering 150 million monthly active users as of this June. That’s according to the earnin

Moka, the HR tool for Arm and Shopee in China, closes $43M Series B

Investors are betting on the automation of human resources management in China. We reported last year that Moka, one of the key players in the space, secured roughly $27 million for its Series B led b

How China’s ACRCloud detects copyrighted music in short videos

Music is front and center in the rise of TikTok and other short-video apps. It’s not just the video platforms that are harvesting the fruit of their surging popularity. Music rights holders are

Tencent and Universal Music to take Chinese artists global under joint label

Digital entertainment titan Tencent continues to drum up its music ambitions. On Tuesday, Tencent Music Entertainment, majority-owned by Tencent with a 55.6% stake, announced establishing a new joint

Tencent wants to merge China’s esports archrivals Douyu and Huya

The war between two of China’s largest esports companies may soon come to a truce at the will of their investor, Tencent. Tencent, the world’s biggest games publisher, announced late Monda

ByteDance valuation under huge pressure as TikTok sale nears

As it reached an estimated valuation of $100 billion this year, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance solidified its status as the most valuable startup in private markets. Its success outside China

VPN booms as countries around the world mull TikTok bans

As countries around the world ban or threaten to restrict TikTok, interest in virtual private networks has spiked. The use of VPNs can let users access an online service from an encrypted tunnel and t

Trump signs orders banning US business with TikTok owner ByteDance and Tencent’s WeChat

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday banning transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of popular app TikTok . The White House also announced that he signed a similar ord

More Chinese phone makers could lose US apps under Trump’s Clean Network

More than a third of the world’s smartphone sales come from Chinese vendors Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo. These manufacturers have thrived not only because they offer value-for-money handsets thanks

Hollywood’s Triller sets its own rhythm even as it gains from TikTok troubles

Triller, the short video app backed by a Hollywood mogul and music celebrities, is rapidly ballooning in both user size and valuation. It’s now seeking a new funding round of $250 million that w

Chinese internet users brand ByteDance CEO a ‘traitor’ as TikTok seeks US buyer

ByteDance is not backing down from its ambitions to become a global technology powerhouse, even as TikTok loses its largest market (India) and faces insurmountable challenges in the U.S. But some in C

Trump told reporters he will use executive power to ban TikTok

President Donald Trump said he could act to ban the world’s most popular short video app TikTok from the U.S. as early as Saturday, according to The Hill. The president said he could use “
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