Rita Liao

Rita covers China for TechCrunch, with a special interest in how tech shapes people – especially their minds.

Previously, she wrote for Tech in Asia and TechNode and oversaw communications for SOSV’s Asia accelerators. At one point, she worked at a film productions company in Maine and a mindfulness retreat center in the Berkshires.

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

Disclosures: None

The Latest from Rita Liao

Amazon finally supports Traditional Chinese books on Kindle

A long-awaited service for readers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and some other overseas Chinese communities have finally come true: Amazon has just started offering Traditional Chinese books for its Ki

Why Luckin’s ultimate target may not be Starbucks

Starbucks plans to double its store count in China to 5,000 in 2021 and Luckin, a one-year-old coffee startup, is matching up by aiming to reach 4,500 by the end of this year. Luckin’s upsized $

Tencent’s latest education push is a nod to new collaborative structure

When Tencent announced it had formed a new education brand this week, the internet giant wasn’t just flexing its muscles to conquer China’s booming online education sector. The new initiat

Tencent CEO warns companies must keep innovating to survive amid US-China tensions

On Tuesday, Tencent’s usually low-profile founder and CEO Pony Ma made rare comments to weigh in on escalating tensions between the United States and China, calling domestic tech companies to bu

Smart TVs add fuel to Xiaomi’s Q1 earnings

Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi just released its first quarterly results since announcing its $1.48 billion pledge to focus on smartphones and “AIoT,” an acronym for Internet of Things

TikTok owner ByteDance’s long-awaited chat app is here

In WeChat -dominated China, there’s no shortage of challengers out there claiming to create an alternative social experience. The latest creation comes from ByteDance, the world’s most val

Baidu, China’s answer to Google, reports first quarterly loss since 2005

Baidu, heralded as the Google of China, felt the heat from its continued spending on artificial intelligence and other next-gen technologies that have yet to reach the mass market as it unveiled troub

China’s Tesla wannabe Xpeng starts ride-hailing service

There’re a lot of synergies between electric vehicles and ride-hailing. Drivers are able to save more steering an EV compared to a gas vehicle. Environmentally conscious consumers will choose to

Tech stocks slide on US decision to blacklist Huawei and 70 affiliates

The United States has been lobbying for months to prevent its western allies from using Huawei equipment in their 5G deployment, and on Wednesday, Washington made it more difficult for the Chinese tel

Alibaba returns to growth with revenue up 51% to $13.9 billion

It’s business as usual for Alibaba after the Chinese e-commerce giant bounced back from a lackluster Q3 — which saw its slowest growth for three years. For Q4, the company saw revenue surg

Tencent’s mixed bag for Q1: record profit despite weakest revenue growth yet

Tencent, Asia’s largest tech firm, had a horrific 2018 on account of a country-wide freeze on new game monetization in China, but there’s evidence it has turned the corner. The company&#82

Huawei launches AI-backed database to target enterprise customers

China’s Huawei is making a serious foray into the enterprise business market after it unveiled a new database management product on Wednesday, putting it in direct competition with entrenched ve

JD.com to foster connected vehicle fleets with $55M investment

JD.com, the Chinese answer to Amazon and Alibaba’s long-time rival, is looking to further automate its logistics network after agreeing to pour 376 million yuan (around $55 million) into Jiangsu

Tencent’s new alternative to PUBG is already topping the revenue chart

In a move clearly driven by economic interests and an urgency to meet stringent regulations, the world’s largest games publisher Tencent pulled its mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battle

Alibaba-backed facial recognition startup Megvii raises $750 million

One of China’s most ambitious artificial intelligence startups, Megvii, more commonly known for its facial recognition brand Face++, announced Wednesday that it has raised $750 million in a Seri

Tencent promises its technology will ‘do good’

Tencent, one of Asia’s most valuable companies with a current market cap of around $460 billion, has introduced a new motto after co-founder and CEO Pony Ma said this week he wanted “tech

Can China’s ride-hailing leader Didi repair its troubled reputation?

2018 was supposed to be another bright year for Didi Chuxing. The ride-hailing upstart had been celebrated as a success story in China’s booming sharing economy. Six years after founding, it had

India unseats China as Asia’s top fintech funding source

China’s massive fintech industry took a beating in recent months as the government continued to wind down online lending nationwide, rattling investor confidence. Funding for fintech startups sh

AWS wants a bigger share of Asia following Hong Kong launch

Amazon’s cloud computing unit is making further inroads into Asia after it opened a data center in Hong Kong this week, adding to the seven existing locations where it currently operates across

US slams Alibaba and its challenger Pinduoduo for selling fakes

China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba, was again on the U.S. Trade Representative’s blacklist over suspected counterfeits sold on its popular Taobao marketplace that connects small m
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