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

Hollywood’s Triller sets its own rhythm even as it gains from TikTok troubles

Triller, the short video app backed by a Hollywood mogul and music celebrities, is rapidly ballooning in both user size and valuation. It’s now seeking a new funding round of $250 million that w

Chinese internet users brand ByteDance CEO a ‘traitor’ as TikTok seeks US buyer

ByteDance is not backing down from its ambitions to become a global technology powerhouse, even as TikTok loses its largest market (India) and faces insurmountable challenges in the U.S. But some in C

Trump told reporters he will use executive power to ban TikTok

President Donald Trump said he could act to ban the world’s most popular short video app TikTok from the U.S. as early as Saturday, according to The Hill. The president said he could use “

China’s electric SUV maker Li Auto raises $1.1 billion in US IPO

Trade tensions between China and the U.S. have not stopped Chinese companies from eyeing to list on American stock exchanges. Li Auto, a five-year-old Chinese electric vehicle startup, raised $1.1 bil

China now accounts for nearly one-quarter of Tesla revenue

Tesla has been counting on China to maintain its sales momentum, and it seems to be on track with the plan. In the three months ended June 30, the automaker’s revenue in China climbed 102.9% yea

After India and US, Japan looks to ban TikTok and other Chinese apps

A group of Japanese lawmakers is seeking to restrict the use of TikTok and other apps developed by Chinese firms, following in the footstep of India, which has already blocked dozens of Chinese apps,

All dogs in Shenzhen, China will get microchipped by 2020

The world’s hardware haven is taking a digital leap for pets. In May, China’s southern city Shenzhen announced that all dogs must be implanted with a chip, joining the ranks of the U.K., J

Tencent wants to take full control of longtime search ally Sogou

It’s been seven years since Tencent picked up a 36.5% stake in Sogou to fend off rival Baidu in the online search market. The social and gaming giant is now offering to buy out and take private

Imint is the Swedish firm that gives Chinese smartphones an edge in video production

If your phone takes amazing photos, chances are its camera has been augmented by artificial intelligence embedded in the operating system. Now videos are getting the same treatment. In recent years, s

Missfresh racks up $495 million in funding as China’s e-grocery booms

The COVID-19 lockdown around the world introduced online grocery to many shoppers for the first time, boosting an industry that had long drawn skepticism. In China particularly, the older generations

Tencent and Chinese scientists use deep learning to predict fatal COVID-19 cases

Tech firms around the world are in overdrive to help battle the coronavirus pandemic. Research showed that 6.5% of COVID-19 patients can suddenly progress to serious illness, and among them the mortal

Jack Ma’s fintech giant Ant starts IPO process in Hong Kong and Shanghai

The Jack Ma -controlled Ant Group finally sets in motion what the market has been anticipating for years. The financial services and payments behemoth said Monday that it has kickstarted the process o

China’s EV startup Xpeng pulls in $500 million Series C+

Xpeng, an electric vehicle startup run by former Alibaba executive He Xiaopeng, said Monday it has raised around $500 million in a Series C+ round to further develop models tailored to China’s t

Apple opens another megastore in China amid William Barr criticism

Apple flexes its muscles in China with another megastore that unveiled on Friday. Located in Beijing’s upscale shopping district Sanlitun, the outlet replaces and more than doubles the size of A

VPN providers rethink Hong Kong servers after China’s security law

In recent decades, Hong Kong has been considered a haven for data centers given its strategic location in Asia, a legal system trusted by international businesses and reliable internet connectivity. M

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.
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