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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

SoftBank led $500M investment in Didi in China’s biggest autonomous driving round

The race to automate vehicles on China’s roads is heating up. Didi, the Uber of China, announced on Friday an outsized investment of over $500 million in its freshly minted autonomous driving su

Meet News Break, the news app trending in America founded by a Chinese media veteran

TikTok isn’t the only new media app with a Chinese background that’s making waves in the U.S. News Break, a news app founded by China’s media veteran Jeff Zheng, with teams in Beijin

China’s top short video apps and e-commerce giants pally up

JD.com, the online retailer that is Alibaba’s long-time nemesis, announced Wednesday a strategic partnership with Kuaishou, the main rival of TikTok’s sibling in China, Douyin. The collabo

Cathay Innovation’s first investment in Germany is healthcare startup Medwing

Medwing, a German startup with an ambition to tackle Europe’s shortage of healthcare workers, said on Tuesday that it has secured €28 million ($30 million) in a Series B financing round. Globa

China’s food delivery giant Meituan hits $100B valuation amid pandemic

Meituan’s shares hit a record high on Tuesday, bringing its valuation to over $100 billion. The Hong Kong-listed giant, which focuses on food delivery with smaller segments in travel and transpo

Work collaboration unicorn Notion is blocked in China [Update: It’s back]

Notion, the fast-growing work collaboration tool that recently hit a $2 billion valuation, said on Twitter Monday that its service was blocked in China. The productivity app has attracted waves of sta

China Roundup: A blow to US-listed Chinese firms and TikTok’s new global face

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. It’s been a tumultuous

Xiaomi’s investment house of IoT surpasses 300 companies

Xiaomi, the Chinese comapny famous for its budget smartphones and a bevy of value-for-money gadgets, said in a filing on Thursday that it has backed more than 300 companies as of March, totaling 32.3

China’s Geek+ brings warehouse robots to US via Conveyco partnership

Chinese robots will soon be seen roaming a number of warehouse floors across North America. Geek+, a well-funded Chinese robotics company that specializes in logistics automation for factories, wareho

TikTok parent ByteDance leads $6M round in financial AI startup Lingxi

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has added Lingxi, a Beijing-based startup that applies machine intelligence to financial services such as debt collection and insurance sales, to its ever-expan

With 170M users, Bilibili is the nearest thing China has to YouTube

Bilibili, a Chinese video streaming website that was once regarded as a haven for youth subculture, has been steadily making its way into the mainstream as users age up and content diversifies. The NA

Huawei admits uncertainty following new US chip curbs

Following the U.S. government’s announcement that would further thwart Huawei’s chip-making capability, the Chinese telecoms equipment giant condemned the new ruling for being “arbit

China’s Oppo partners with Vodafone for bigger European push

Huawei is facing an uphill challenge in the overseas market as its upcoming devices lack the full set of Google apps and services. That leaves ample room for its Chinese rivals to chase after foreign

Fitbit’s Chinese rival Amazfit mulls a transparent, self-disinfecting mask

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a wave of Chinese companies with manufacturing operations to produce virus-fighting equipment: Shenzhen-based electric vehicle giant BYD quickly moved to launch wh

China’s embattled Luckin Coffee adds lifestyle products to its menu

The Luckin saga continues as the Chinese coffee challenger seeks solutions to the undesirable consequences of a?$310 million fraud. On Tuesday, the company announced sacking chief operating officer L

93% of Chinese minors are now online

Children and teenagers in China are hyper-connected and using the internet in ways that were unimaginable and inaccessible to earlier generations. As many as 175 million people under the age of 18, or

Tim Hortons eyes China coffee drinkers with Tencent investment

Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons has secured a heavyweight partner to further its China expansion. The company announced on its social media account (in Chinese) on Tuesday that it has l

Tencent Music bets on China’s crowded audio content space

Listeners of podcasts, audiobooks and other audio shows are estimated to number 542 million in China this year, according to a third-party survey by marketing firm iiMedia. It’s a healthy jump f

A Chinese city to pump life into local business with WeChat live streaming

China is showing renewed interest in live streaming. As the coronavirus swept through the country and shut down premises in droves, businesses are turning online to drive sales. Many have adopted live

Snow’s avatar app Zepeto registers 150M users, eyes China market

Some of you may recall the South Korean app Zepeto that went viral among Gen Z users a year and a half ago. The app, which renders selfies into animated avatars and lets people adorn their computer-ge
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