Rita Liao, TechCrunch

Rita Liao



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Recent articles by Rita:

CyberConnect raises $15M Series A to put data back in the hands of users –

One of the promises made by web3 entrepreneurs is putting data back in the hands of owners through decentralization. Singapore-based CyberConnect is among a handful of blockchain startups working to fulfill this vision, and it has recently closed a Series A financing round totaling $15 million. The lead co-investor of the round is Animoca Brands, […] → Read More

ZMO.ai secures $8M led by Hillhouse to create AI generated fashion models –

With breakthroughs in machine learning, it’s no longer uncommon to see algorithmically generated bodies that can move and talk authentically like real humans. The question is now down to whether startups offering such products can achieve a sustainable business model. Some of them have demonstrated that potential and attracted investors. ZMO.ai, founded by a team […] → Read More

South Korea’s new pro-crypto president gets pushback –

One of the pledges Yoon Suk-yeol made to his electors was to implement a set of crypto-friendly policies in South Korea. Yoon, who won in March and came into the office this month, said he would raise the tax threshold for crypto investment gains to 50 million won or around $38,922. But he’s getting some […] → Read More

Valued at $50M, Body404 wants to bring Chinese indie brands to the world –

Over the past few years, Shein has taken over online fast fashion by exporting affordable wear from China to customers around the globe. Its success has attracted a wave of imitators, but a startup called Body404 believes China isn’t just about cheap runway knockoffs. The country is also seeing a budding generation of cosmopolitan designers […] → Read More

Synergies raises $12M to give factory managers an AI analytics assistant –

There’s no lack of startups around the world trying to make industrial activities more efficient with artificial intelligence. Some invent robots to assist or replace manual labor, while others use machine learning to help businesses discover insights. Synergies Intelligent Systems falls into the second category. Michael Chang founded Synergies in 2016 in Boston to provide […] → Read More

Crypto forensics startup Chainalysis raises $170M at $8.6B valuation –

Chainalysis, a startup that provides crypto investigation and compliance services, has secured $170 million in a Series F funding round led by GIC, a sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. The company, which is known for helping law enforcement nab illicit crypto activities, saw its valuation double to $8.6 billion from its round last June. The […] → Read More

China’s internet users are paying close attention to the crypto crash –

While China has banned cryptocurrency trading, its people remain interested in the ups and downs of the crypto market, not least because many of them have found workarounds and continue to buy and sell all sorts of tokens. Bitcoin’s price continued to crater on Monday after a rough weekend, down more than 50% from its […] → Read More

China’s EV darling Nio turns to Hong Kong and Singapore amid US delisting risk –

Nio, an electric vehicle upstart from China, is planning to list its shares in Singapore, which will make the city-state the third base where it trades as geopolitical tensions between China and the US heighten. Nio said on Friday that it is seeking a secondary listing of its Class A ordinary shares “by way of […] → Read More

China’s gaming giant NetEase opens first US studio in Austin –

NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China and the sixth-largest in the world, has opened its first US-based studio in Austin as China’s gaming industry slows. The company’s archrival Tencent was a step ahead in expanding to North America. TiMi, Tencent’s cash cow studio known for the mobile blockbuster Honor of Kings, began hiring in […] → Read More

Binance gets regulatory nod in France, paving the way for Europe push –

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, has gained regulatory approval to provide digital asset services in France, the first European country where it has acquired such permission, the company said in a blog post on Thursday. The greenlight was granted by the country’s market and banking authorities and arrived months after several regulatory […] → Read More

China’s tech giants are having FOMO on NFTs –

In mid-April, a group of industry associations in China issued a warning against the potential financial risks of non-fungible tokens, digital assets that represent real-world objects or intangible goods like a song. NFTs must not be traded with cryptocurrencies, said the country’s banking, internet finance, and securities associations, and they must not be used to […] → Read More

After ultracharged growth, battery maker EcoFlow comes for the glampers –

In recent years, episodes of extreme climate crises and power outrages have driven doomsday preppers to plan for off-the-grid survival scenarios. The mentality has been a boon to EcoFlow, a Shenzhen-based power generating and storing unicorn, which racked up $220 million in revenues last year as consumers in the US demanded its solar-powered portable power […] → Read More

China’s logistics robot maker VisionNav raises $76M at $500M valuation –

Industrial robotics has in recent years become one of the hottest tech sectors in China as the country encourages the use of advanced technology to enhance efficiency on the production floor. VisionNav Robotics, which specializes in autonomous forklifts, stacking vehicles and other logistics robots, is the latest industrial robot maker from China to get funded. […] → Read More

Robotaxi rivals Pony and WeRide join Chinese ride-hailing service OnTime’s $153M round –

This is an interesting day when we see two of China’s major robotaxi foes come together, offering a clue to how the industry is evolving in the country. WeRide.ai and Pony.ai, which both operate out of China’s southern metropolis Guangzhou and California, have participated in OnTime’s one billion yuan ($153 million) Series A funding round, […] → Read More

Pony.ai scores taxi license for autonomous vehicles in Guangzhou –

Autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai has been awarded a permit in Guangzhou to operate 100 robotaxis as traditional taxis. The license, which allows Pony to charge for rides in its autonomous vehicles, signifies another step on the path to commercializing autonomous ride-hail vehicles in China. WeRide, one of Pony’s competitors in China, has been running a […] → Read More

Alibaba-backed Deeproute further slashes L4 driving costs to $3,000 –

Only four months after Deeproute.ai announced it planned to sell its self-driving solution at an attractive $10,000, the Shenzhen and Fremont-based startup said it has further slashed the cost by approximately 70% to $3,000. The touted price tag surely stands out, given Deeproute is promising two to five solid-state lidars, eight cameras, as well as […] → Read More

WeChat’s newsfeed turns 10. Is it still relevant?

So long as WeChat keeps on inventing and listening to users, Moments will keep on attracting loyal followers. → Read More

Ant Group buys Singapore’s 2C2P to further global payments ambitions –

Quietly, Alibaba’s fintech affiliate Ant Group has been building a global cross-border payments network by partnering with or investing in third-party e-wallets, banks, remittance services and other ecosystem players. The latest added to Ant’s alliance is 2C2P, a Singapore-based company that helps enterprises in Southeast Asia move money across borders. According to an announcement released […] → Read More

China’s work automation startup Laiye raises $160M, acquires France’s Mindsay

Laiye, a Beijing-based company that provides a one-stop platform for automating office tasks, picked up $160M from a Series C funding round to expand globally. → Read More

China further limits access to unauthorized foreign games –

For years, China has left a loophole open for people to access unauthorized video games, but it’s ready to close it. Many foreign titles lack a Chinese publishing partner like Tencent to help them obtain the government-issued license needed to operate in the country, so players normally rely on an “accelerator” to reduce delays of […] → Read More