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

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

Xiaomi’s latest products for Russia include its smart TVs and flagship Mi 9T

Xiaomi, best known for its smartphones, is making serious inroads into Russia as it launched a collection of products in the country where some 145 million people live. That includes its smart TVs fea

Huawei says US ban will cost it $30B in lost revenue

Following a string of trade restrictions from the U.S., China’s telecoms equipment and smartphone maker Huawei expects its revenues to drop $30 billion below forecast over the next two years, fo

China’s housing unicorn Danke appoints ex-Baidu exec as new COO

A few months after nabbing a handsome $500 million funding round, China’s shared housing startup Danke Apartment got a talent boost. On Monday, Danke announced the appointment of Gu Guodong as i

How China’s first autonomous driving unicorn Momenta hunts for data

Cao Xudong turned up on the side of the road in jeans and a black T-shirt printed with the word “Momenta,” the name of his startup. Before founding the company — which last year topp

China opens Nasdaq-style board to lure tech firms back home

China’s much-anticipated Science and Technology Innovation board officially launched in Shanghai today, marking Beijing’s major step in drawing high-potential tech companies to list at hom

Report: Chinese spend nearly 5 hours on entertainment apps daily

Like the rest of the world, China is getting more glued to smartphones that can perform an endless list of tasks, from talking to workmates, shopping for groceries, all the way to getting a dose of do
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