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

Tencent Q4 profit disappoints, but cloud and payments gain ground

China’s Tencent reported disappointing profits in the fourth quarter on the back of surging costs but saw emerging businesses pick up steam as it plots to diversify amid slackening gaming revenu

PicsArt hits 130 million MAUs as Chinese flock to its photo-editing app

If you’re like me, who isn’t big on social media, you’d think that the image filters that come inside most apps will do the job. But for many others, especially the younger crowd, ma

Spotify rival Tencent Music posts maiden quarter loss of $130M on one-off costs

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the Chinese answer to Spotify that Tencent spun out and floated on the New York Stock Exchange in December, reported a net loss of 876 million yuan ($127 million) in

Camera maker Insta360 raises $30M as it eyes 2020 IPO

Insta360, one of the pioneers in making 360-degree cameras, just raised $30 million in a Series C+ funding round from Chinese investors, including Everest Venture Capital, MG Holdings and Huajin Capi

Xiaomi Q4 sees strong growth in overseas shipment and internet services

Xiaomi, the Chinese company known for its cheap handsets and a vision to drive revenues by selling internet services, has come in ahead of analysts’ estimates in its fourth-quarter profit althou

TikTok parent Bytedance is getting serious about games

A turbulent 2018 for China’s gaming market hasn’t held back newcomers. Bytedance, the world’s most valuable startup behind a collection of rising new media apps including TikTok and

This YC-backed startup preps Chinese students for US data jobs

In recent years, data analysts have gone from optional to a career that holds great promise, but demand for quantitative skills applied in business decisions has raced ahead of supply as college curri

Surging costs send shares of e-commerce challenger Pinduoduo down 17 percent

China’s new tech force Pinduoduo is continuing its race to upend the e-commerce space, even at the expense of its finances. The three-year-old startup earmarked some big wins from the 2018 fisca

China’s Qutoutiao is burning millions of dollars to take on TikTok parent

Chinese startup ByteDance is finding itself surrounded by challengers as its empire of new media products, including global video app TikTok and Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, gather steam. Te

Meituan confirms Mobike’s retreat from most overseas markets

TechCrunch reported last Friday that Mobike has scrapped operations across the Asia Pacific region as a key step towards a long-term plan to scale back its international business. On Monday, its paren

China’s authorities propose to keep minors out of live streaming

China is getting serious about the way live-streaming videos affect tens of millions of youngsters, so much so a top authority has proposed to tighten restrictions on underage use. According to a repo

Bike-sharing pioneer Mobike is retreating to China

In a telling sign of the state of bike sharing, Mobike, a once red-hot startup that attracted billions in investment capital, is closing down all international operations and putting its sole focus on

Huawei is suing the US government over ‘unconstitutional’ equipment ban

Huawei has decided to go on the legal offensive against the United States government after defending itself against alleged espionage and bank frauds linked to American sanctions on Iran. During a pre

Food delivered to the doorstep is not so cheap in China anymore

A big selling point of ordering food to the doorstep in China is price, which, in the early years, could be much cheaper than eating in-house. That’s arguably indulged a demographic of lazy, ind

China’s YY eyes overseas live streaming with $1.45B Bigo buyout

One of China’s top live-streaming companies, YY, bought a stake and obtained the right to purchase a majority share in Bigo last June, and now the other shoe has dropped after YY fully acquired

Moka raises $27M led by Hillhouse to make hiring more data-driven in China

Moka, a startup that wants to make talent acquisition a little more data-driven for China-based companies that range from smartphone giant Xiaomi to Burger King’s local business, announced Monda

This $550M fund is bringing green tech from the West to China, despite trade tensions

Escalating trade frictions between the U.S. and China have a range of businesses and investors in both countries sweating, but some believe there remains a bright spot where the antagonists can find c

Tiger Global and Ant Financial lead $500M investment in China’s shared housing startup Danke

A Chinese startup that’s taking a dorm-like approach to urban housing just raised $500 million as its valuation jumped over $2 billion. Danke Apartment, whose name means “eggshell” i

SoftBank’s Vision Fund invests $1.5B in Chinese second-hand car startup Chehaoduo

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is taking a bet on China’s auto market after it agreed to pour $1.5 billion into online car trading group Chehaoduo, which literally means “many cars” in

NetEase is the latest Chinese tech giant to lay off a big chunk of its staff

NetEase, China’s second-biggest online games publisher with a growing ecommerce segment, is laying off a significant number of its employees, adding to a list of Chinese tech giants that have sh
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