Rita Liao

Rita covers Asia for TechCrunch, with a focus on Chinese companies going global and how web3 is unfolding in the region.

Before her previous writing stints with Tech in Asia and TechNode, Rita managed communications for SOSV’s accelerators in Asia. At one point, she worked for a documentary production company and a mindfulness retreat center in New England.

She studied political science and visual arts at Bowdoin College.

Contact: ritaliao@pm.me

Disclosures: None

The Latest from Rita Liao

Aramco’s Prosperity7 powers AI drug firm Insilico’s $95M round

Hong Kong-based drug discovery and development company Insilico has secured fresh capital at a time that its CEO described as a “biotech winter.” The firm has raised $35 million on the hee

SoftBank to trim Alibaba stake to 14.6%, poised to book $34B gain

Masayoshi Son famously built his war chest by pumping $20 million into Alibaba two decades ago. Over the years the Chinese e-commerce behemoth has become a way for the billionaire founder of SoftBank

TikTok parent ByteDance just bought a hospital group in China

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is making some pretty heavy bets on the healthcare space as it acquired Amcare, which runs high-end children’s and women’s hospitals across China. T

Bitmain co-founder welcomes crypto regulation to restore market confidence

The collapse of Three Arrow Capital and the counterparties wrapped in the crypto hedge fund’s troubles have drawn questions about the soundness of the heady digital asset investment space. For t

Toyota-backed robotaxi unicorn Pony.ai sues ex-employees over trade secrets

Pony.ai, a Chinese autonomous vehicle company valued at $8.5 billion as of late, has sued two former employees over alleged trade secret infringement. The lawsuit is arriving months after Frank (Zhenh

Salesforce shutters Hong Kong office, leans on Alibaba in China

Salesforce is repositioning itself in China as it looks to expand the reach of its customer relationship management software in the country. The company is “accelerating” its strategic par

Thousands of Solana wallets drained in multimillion-dollar exploit

Solana, an increasingly popular blockchain known for its speedy transactions, has become the target of the crypto sphere’s latest hack after users reported that funds have been drained from int

a16z-backed Shein challenger Cider is growing rapidly

Shein has shown the world how combining social media marketing, data analytics and China’s well-oiled supply chain has created a $100 billion fast-fashion behemoth. Its success naturally spawns

Gaming vets promise to make blockchain games fun and sustainable

The runaway success of Axie Infinity and StepN has convinced a flurry of entrepreneurs that web3 gaming, where the ownership of in-game assets is in the hands of users via blockchain adoption rather t

Jack Ma to give up control of fintech giant Ant Group: WSJ

China’s billionaire tech boss Jack Ma plans to cede control of Ant Group, the fintech powerhouse closely affiliated with Alibaba, the e-commerce giant he founded, The Wall Street Journal reporte

China’s Jaka Robotics fueled by Saudi Arabia’s Prosperity7 in global push

Jaka Robotics, a Chinese startup that makes collaborative robots, has just pulled in a hefty Series D funding round of over $150 million from a lineup of heavyweight investors to help it expand global

Real driverless cars are now legal in Shenzhen, China’s tech hub

There are plenty of autonomous driving vehicles testing on the roads of Shenzhen today: Pony.ai, Baidu, DeepRoute, AutoX, you name it. But these vehicles are not really the unmanned vehicles that tech

BAI Capital targets China’s globalizing startups with fresh $700M fund

BAI Capital, the storied China-focused venture investment firm that was formerly known as Bertelsmann Asia Investments, has raised $700 million to back Chinese companies that are part of the country&#

Luminar to invest in Geely-affiliated Ecarx, eyes China market

Luminar, the Florida-based lidar company that went public via SPAC in 2020, has formed a close alliance with an auto behemoth in China. It’s making a strategic investment of an undisclosed amoun

China’s $1B fine on Didi could end the mobility giant’s troubled year

Didi, the Chinese ride-hailing behemoth that has undergone a year of regulatory overhaul, faces a fine of over 8 billion yuan ($1.28 billion) from the country’s authorities, The Wall Street Jour

Former Tencent insurance boss joins web3 powerhouse Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong-based gaming company and the investor behind web3 big names like The Sandbox, Sky Mavis, Dapper Labs and OpenSea, just got a talent boost. Alan Lau, former CEO and chairm

ByteDance-backed warehouse robotics startup Syrius picks up $7M

Syrius Robotics, a Chinese startup that makes autonomous robots for warehouses, just secured 50 million yuan ($7.4 million) in a Series B funding round, lifting its total raised so far to $40 million.

Mike Shinoda backs a startup that lets you do video calls as NFT avatars

As I speak to Tong Pow over Google Meet, he appears as a cartoon medieval-helmet-clad cat that talks and bobs its head, mirroring Pow’s movement behind the webcam. The visor may be hiding a Ches

Shanghai gives nod to NFT trading platforms

After flagging concerns over the financial risks associated with non-fungible tokens, some of China’s authorities are putting forward guidance on how to best make use of the novel technology. Th

A robot pony maker backed by Chinese EV giant Xpeng raises $100M

China’s Tesla challenger Xpeng isn’t content with just making electric vehicles. It’s also betting on ridable robot unicorns for kids. Xpeng Robotics, a bionic robot maker affiliated
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