Rita Liao

Rita covers China for TechCrunch, with a special interest in how technology affects people, particularly 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 an environmental filmmaker in Maine and a mindfulness retreat center in the Berkshires, U.S.

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

How a Hong Kong startup gets caught up in US-China trade war

Taylor Host has been operating his artificial intelligence startup out of Hong Kong for more than two years. The American entrepreneur has clients from Europe, North America and Asia, but he settled i

China startup deals shrink as fundraising for investors plummets

Chinese startups continue to weather tough times as private investors, caught in a cash crunch, are concentrating money into fewer deals. China’s deal-making activity for startups in the six mon

Snap turns to search giant Baidu to court Chinese advertisers

Two years have passed since Snap Inc. first struck a deal with Baidu that authorized China’s largest search engine to be a reseller of Snapchat ads for companies in Greater China, as well as Jap

Online shopping guide SMZDM surges 44% on China stock market debut

When Chinese internet companies seek initial public offerings, they tend to look to the United States, where rules for profitability are less strict. SMZDM, an online shopping guide that few people ou

Hellobike, survivor of China’s bike-sharing craze, goes electric

Just two years ago, investors were heavily pouring money into China’s dockless bike-sharing startups. Now that boom has busted, with derelict bikes littering the streets of cities. Meanwhile, a new

Chinese electric carmaker Xpeng says Nio stock swings a ‘good lesson’ for rivals

Seeing your competitor undergo dramatic changes in fortune can be unnerving, as there’s the fear that the same will happen to you. For electric vehicle maker Xpeng, Nio’s period of stock s

Meituan, Alibaba and the new landscape of ride-hailing in China

Image recognition, mini apps, QR codes: how China uses tech to sort its waste

China’s war on garbage is as digitally savvy as the country itself. Think QR codes attached to trash bags that allow a municipal government to trace exactly where its trash comes from. On July 1

WeChat wants to own tourism

When people travel, they usually have a list of apps installed to navigate a new city, find restaurants, book transit tickets and more. China’s top chat app WeChat has designs on claiming that s

China’s Alipay adds sought-after beauty filters to face-scan payments

In China, striving for accuracy in a piece of facial recognition software isn’t enough. As Alibaba’s e-wallet affiliate Alipay has recently demonstrated, the way software presents a user&#

China’s Didi removes 300,000 drivers amid safety overhaul

2018 was the year Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing company that defeated Uber in China, vowed to put safety ahead of rocket-ship growth after two deadly passenger incidents. One way it works to ramp up

China silences podcast and music apps as online crackdown widens

Audio apps are flying high in China. In 2018, online listeners in the country grew 22.1% to surpass 400 million, at a rate far exceeding that of the mobile video and e-reading populations, according t

Cathay Innovation leads Laiye’s $35M round to bet on Chinese enterprise IT

For many years, the boom and bust of China’s tech landscape have centered around consumer-facing products. As this space gets filled by Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and more recently Didi Chuxing, M

Pinduoduo cements position as China’s second-largest ecommerce player

Alibaba and JD.com have been in a war over the Chinese e-commerce space for a decade or so, but a third player called Pinduoduo has managed to shake up the duopoly in recent times. The startup, which

Huawei says two-thirds of 5G networks outside China now use its gear

As 5G networks begin rolling out and commercializing around the world, telecoms vendors are rushing to get a headstart. Huawei equipment is now behind two-thirds of the commercially launched 5G networ

Carrefour sale shifts the balance of power in China’s new retail battle

Hot on the heels of Amazon’s decision to shutter its local marketplace, Carrefour — another global commerce giant — is switching up its approach to China, and shifting the balance of

Cartier, Bulgari and other luxury brands are flocking to WeChat

Not long ago, people in China would need to visit a posh, stylish mall for luxury shopping. That’s rapidly changing as high-end brands race to embrace digital channels, which aren’t just t

Razer goes big on payments with Visa prepaid card

The latest pairing between a tech upstart and a financial titan is a digital prepaid card targeted at Southeast Asia’s 430 million-plus unbanked and underserved population. On Monday, Razer, the

California has let two Chinese startups offer robotaxis to the public

China’s autonomous cars are coming for passengers in the United States. AutoX and Pony.ai just became the first Chinese companies allowed to offer robotaxis in the state of California, according

China to lose top spot to US in 2019 gaming market

China is losing its global lead in games. By the end of 2019, the U.S. will replace China as the world’s largest gaming market, with an estimated revenue of $36.9 billion, says a new report fro
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