Rita Liao

Rita covers China for TechCrunch, with a special interest in the relationship between humans and technology.

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 in New England.

She studied political science and arts at Bowdoin College and is now back in her hometown Shenzhen.

Contact: ritaliao@pm.me

Disclosures: None

The Latest from Rita Liao

Chinese mobile games are gaining ground in the US

Over the past year, the coronavirus crisis has spurred app usage in the United States as people stay indoors to limit contact with others. Mobile games particularly have enjoyed a boom, and among them

A race to reverse-engineer Clubhouse raises security concerns

As live audio chat app Clubhouse ascends in popularity around the world, concerns about its data practices also grow. The app is currently only available on iOS, so some developers set out in a race t

China’s Black Lake raises $77M to give factories a digital upgrade

Zhou Yuxiang doesn’t have the typical profile for working in China’s manufacturing world. A soft-spoken yet incisive person in his early thirties, Zhou graduated from Dartmouth College wit

TikTok’s China twin Douyin has 550 million search users, takes on Baidu

The advance of short videos is reshaping how information is created, disseminated and consumed online. Snappy 15-second videos aren’t just for entertainment. On Chinese short-video apps Douyin a

Tesla summoned by Chinese regulators for quality concerns

Tesla, which is seeing rapid growth in China as it ramps up local manufacturing capacity, has been called upon by the Chinese government for talks over quality issues in its electric cars. A group of

Clubhouse is now blocked in China after a brief uncensored period

Thousands of Chinese users suddenly found themselves unable to access Clubhouse on early Monday evening as the country prepared to start the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Inside WeChat groups, Clu

China court accepts ByteDance case filing against Tencent over alleged monopoly

ByteDance is bringing its battle with archrival Tencent to the court at a time when the Chinese government moves to curve the power of the country’s internet behemoths. The Beijing Intellectual

Will the Clubhouse model work in China?

On Friday just past midnight, I stumbled across a Clubhouse room hosted by a well-known figure in the Chinese startup community, Feng Dahui. At half-past midnight, the room still had nearly 500 listen

Kuaishou, TikTok’s Chinese nemesis, surges 194% on IPO debut

Kuaishou, a Chinese video app that’s largely underappreciated outside China, has just completed a massive initial public offering in Hong Kong. The app is by far the biggest rival for Douyin, Ti

China’s national blockchain network embraces global developers

While China bans cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings, the government is set to leverage the underpinning technology — often without the decentralized part. Blockchain, for instan

Alibaba Cloud turns profitable after 11 years

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, became profitable for the first time in the December quarter, the company announced in its earnings report. The firm’s

As contactless menu ordering becomes the norm amid COVID, China pushes back

Digital ordering and paying at restaurants was already gaining much ground in China before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The tap-to-order method on a smartphone is part of the greater development in Chin

New rule reins in China’s flourishing self-publishing space

Despite China’s history of stringent media control, an industry of uninstitutionalized, individual publishers has managed to flourish on social media platforms like Tencent’s WeChat and By

Hong Kong startup ICW eyes supply chain diversification demand amid trade war

For American importers, finding suppliers these days can be challenging not only due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The U.S. government’s entity list designations, human-rights-related sanctio

Online wholesale retailer Boxed taps Aeon for Asia expansion

Boxed, the New York-based online retailer that sells and delivers bulk-sized groceries, makes its foray into Asia by partnering with Aeon, one of Asia’s largest brick-and-mortar retail operators

SoftBank-backed travel platform Klook raises $200M amid COVID-19

Klook, the Hong Kong-based travel activities platform backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, announced the closure of $200 million in funding for its Series E round, lifting the startup’s total capital

Virtual social network IMVU raises $35M from China’s NetEase and others

The line between social networking and gaming is increasingly blurring, and internet incumbents are taking notice. NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China (behind Tencent), is among a grou

Autonomous driving startup Uisee attracts Chinese state investor in $150M round

There is no lack of state funding for China’s smart-driving startups nowadays as the country advances its goal to become a global leader in artificial intelligence in a decade’s time. The

Didi to subsidize trips for vaccinations with $10M global fund

As countries around the world prepare to vaccinate people against the coronavirus, tech companies are rushing to demonstrate their willingness to help fight the deadly virus. China’s ride-hailin

China’s draft payments rules put Ant, Tencent on notice

A string of recent events in China’s payments industry suggests the duopoly comprising Ant Group and Tencent may be getting a shakeup. Following the abrupt call-off of Ant’s public sale an
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