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

Jack Ma’s fintech giant tops 1.3 billion users globally

The speculation that Alibaba’s fintech affiliate Ant Group will go public has been swirling around for years. New details came to light recently. Reuters reported last week that the fintech gian

Huawei posts revenue growth in H1 despite sanctions and pandemic

Huawei reported a 13.1% year-over-year revenue growth in the first half of 2020, even if countries around the world continued to weigh up bans on its equipment and smartphone sales shrink amid the pan

US threatens to restrict WeChat following TikTok backlash

Amid intense scrutiny over TikTok as a potential national security risk in the U.S., WeChat, the essential tool for Chinese people’s day-to-day life, is also taking heat from Washington. White H

Microsoft spins out 5-year-old Chinese chatbot Xiaoice

Microsoft is shedding its empathetic chatbot Xiaoice into an independent entity, the U.S. software behemoth said (in Chinese) Monday, confirming an earlier report by the Chinese news site Chuhaipost

China Roundup: Tech giants take stance on Beijing’s data control in Hong Kong

This week, the unprecedented national security law descended on Hong Kong, changing the day-to-day life of the people there, as well as businesses across the board.

COVID-19 pivot: Travel unicorn Klook sees jump in staycations

Spring 2020 was gloomy for Klook. As countries closed their borders and went into complete or partial lockdown, the SoftBank-backed travel platform saw its revenue plummet by as much as 90% through Ma

The tech industry comes to grips with Hong Kong’s national security law

Scott Salandy-Defour used to make frequent stops at a battery manufacturer in southern China for his energy startup based in Hong Kong. The appeal of Hong Kong, he said, is its adjacency to the plenti

TikTok faces ban in the US; pulls out of Hong Kong

The world’s most popular short video app continues to be in the crosshairs of politicians globally. On Monday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the United States is &#8220

Beyond Burger arrives in Alibaba’s grocery stores in China

Beyond Meat is starting to hit supermarket shelves in China after it first entered the country in April by supplying Starbucks’ plant-based menu. Within weeks, it had also forayed into select KF

Daimler-backed Momenta says its robotaxis will be fully driverless and profitable in 2024

In China and the U.S., there’s much debate about when and how humans will achieve fully autonomous robotaxis at scale — cars that chauffeur passengers under complex road conditions without

Cambricon, once Huawei’s core AI chip supplier, eyes $400M IPO

One of China’s most valuable artificial intelligence chipmakers, Cambricon, is one step closer to its initial public offering, and its prospectus reveals a rare snapshot of where Chinese compani

Telegram pledges to make anti-censorship tools for Iran and China

The encrypted instant messenger Telegram said on Monday it’s ramping up efforts to develop anti-censorship technologies serving users in countries where it is banned or partially blocked, includ

China Roundup: Huawei targets cars, ByteDance enters Tencent’s backyard

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. This week, we have several h

Geek+, the Amazon Kiva of China, lands $200 million Series C

Geek+, a Beijing-based startup that makes warehouse fulfillment robots similar to those of Amazon’s Kiva, said Thursday that it has closed over $200 million in a Series C funding round. That bum

China’s gay dating app Blued eyes Nasdaq IPO to expand overseas

It was around 20 years ago when Baoli Ma hid in his bedroom feeling helpless and lonely for being a gay man in China. Life has changed dramatically for Ma since then. This week, BlueCity, the gay dati

China’s BYD nabs $113M to produce IGBTs, the ‘CPU of electric cars’

BYD Co., the Chinese auto giant backed by Warren Buffett, is rushing to make China self-sufficient in the production of electric vehicles. On Monday, the firm said in a filing it has secured 800 mill

VESoft raises $8M to meet China’s growing need for graph databases

Sherman Ye founded VESoft in 2018 when he saw a growing demand for graph databases in China. Its predecessors, like Neo4j and TigerGraph, had already been growing aggressively in the West for a few ye

China Roundup: Alibaba to add 5,000 staff to cloud unit

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. This week, we have updates f

Pocket Casts and Castro Podcasts removed from Apple’s China store

Before June each year, content and media platforms in China anxiously anticipate a new round of censorship as the government tightens access to information in the lead-up to the anniversary of the Tia

Alibaba taps international influencers to sell more globally

For years, Chinese e-commerce exporters have been learning the ins and outs of ad placement on Facebook, Instagram and other mainstream social media platforms to reach customers around the world. But
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