Rita Liao, TechCrunch

Rita Liao



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Recent articles by Rita:

ByteDance’s Pico debuts its Quest rival, but challenges remain

When ByteDance bought the Chinese VR headset maker Pico a year ago, the message it sent was clear: it was betting that the immersive device would be where future generations spend most of their time consuming digital content. It’s a marriage reminiscent of Meta’s acquisition of Oculus back in 2014, except the world is now […] → Read More

Why this Blizzard vet thinks the next killer web3 game will come from China

This year, around 3.2 billion people — or about 40% of the world’s population — will play games, with total spending nearing $200 billion, estimates industry researcher Newzoo. The purveyors of web3 want a slice of this gargantuan market. Criticisms of the first generation of crypto games, dominated by the play-to-earn model, have already been […] → Read More

Vietnam to restrict which social media accounts can post news

With the rising tide of fake news on social media platforms, the debate over how much control a government should have on online information is a perennial one. In Vietnam, the government is intensifying its control over the internet regime. → Read More

China’s Nio joins the race for lithium, buys 12% of Australia’s Greenwing Resources

China’s electric vehicle upstart Nio has joined Tesla in sourcing raw materials directly from mines rather than its own battery suppliers as soaring prices of lithium, a critical component of EV batteries, hurt manufacturers’ supply chain stability and bottom lines. Lithium carbonate prices in China hit a record 501,500 yuan/tonne in September, tripling the number […] → Read More

Investors bank on China’s alternatives to Nvidia’s auto chips

In China, a crop of homegrown chip companies has popped up as Beijing strives to decouple from America’s advanced technology and manage sanctions risks, which have crippled Huawei’s lucrative smartphone business. In the red-hot space of autonomous driving, Chinese semiconductor firms, buoyed with venture capital, are aiming to provide the best alternatives to Nvidia and […] → Read More

SerMorpheus wants to make NFTs an everyday sight in Indonesia

More than half of the population in Southeast Asia is under 30, making it a coveted market for novel technologies. Unsurprisingly, several countries in the region, like Singapore and Vietnam, have some of the world’s highest crypto adoption rates. While Indonesia isn’t the most crypto active in the region — total crypto value received was […] → Read More

Alibaba Cloud pledges $1B to boost overseas alliance

Alibaba is known for its sprawling e-commerce empire, but like Amazon, cloud service has been a big driver of its revenues in recent years. The Chinese cloud giant is ready to double down on its overseas reach and announced today a $1 billion investment in a “global partner ecosystem upgrade.” Alibaba Cloud is now the […] → Read More

Berlin’s Kaiko Systems nets €2M to help maritime technical operations go paperless

From healthcare to manufacturing, traditional industries have been getting a digital makeover over the past decade. But some sectors have been left behind. Maritime shipping, argued Fabian Fussek, CEO and co-founder of Kaiko Systems, is the “last frontier of digitzation.” Kaiko Systems is a Berlin-based startup trying to digitize operations on commercial vessels. Around 90% […] → Read More

Amazon’s latest challenger is China’s online dollar store Pinduoduo

The race to bring China-made goods to Western consumers via online stores is heating up. Pinduoduo has quickly gained momentum for its first international endeavor in the U.S. → Read More

NebulaGraph reaps from China’s growing appetite for graph databases

Graph databases, which store information in nodes and relationships instead of tables like Excel sheets, have grown in popularity amid an explosion of data across industries. While TigerGraph and Neo4j have dominated the Western market, China is seeing its own homegrown pioneers in the space. NebulaGraph is one of China’s fastest-growing startups offering graph databases […] → Read More

Singapore’s KNN3 wants to enable social discovery for decentralized apps

There’s no shortage of startups trying to make sense of the explosive growth of data generated from blockchain applications. Nansen has the support from a16z to provide on-chain data analysis for crypto investors. The Graph offers an API for developers to query blockchain data. The latest to get VC recognition is KNN3, a Singapore-based startup […] → Read More

Miners flee to Ethereum Classic as ‘the Merge’ arrives

The Merge, the long-awaited software upgrade that promises to make Ethereum transactions a lot greener, is expected to put miners out of jobs. But miners are not quitting outright. With big bucks invested in computing hardware, many of them are seeking refuge in an alternative branch of Ethereum. Ethereum Classic, a hard fork of the […] → Read More

Huawei offers satellite SOS in China where Apple’s is unavailable

A day before Apple unveiled its highly anticipated satellite-powered SOS feature for iPhone 14, Huawei announced its own equivalent. The Chinese telecoms equipment and smartphone giant said its flagship Mate 50 series will support texting via satellite communication. The feature is made possible by Beidou, China’s own navigation alternative to the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning […] → Read More

Boston’s ClearMotion funded by Nio Capital to switch on in-car metaverse in China

U.S.-China decoupling is expected to discourage cross-border investments between the two superpowers as investors shy away from sanctions and geopolitical risks. But in some areas, Chinese investors and American tech firms continue to find happy marriages. ClearMotion, a Boston-based company that aims to make car rides less bumpy and more fun, just raised $39 million […] → Read More

Waysia raises €10M to deliver Asian grocery in Europe

COVID-19 has reshaped our lives in many ways and given rise to a plethora of services tailored to these newborn needs. Waysia, an Asian grocery delivery platform, is one of such startups that retooled in response to the pandemic. Previously known as Alorsfaim, Waysia started out in Paris four years ago as a platform delivering […] → Read More

Inside Tencent’s ambition to create a Triple A console game –

Tencent, the biggest social networking and video games company in China, hasn’t really managed to scale its popular products in the Western mainstream. The behemoth’s international expansion for the most part has been achieved by investing in companies outside China, but now it’s upping its on-the-ground presence abroad through its most lucrative business — video […] → Read More

Nvidia the latest collateral damage in US-China tech war –

Nvidia, the world’s largest maker of artificial intelligence chips, is at the heart of a new round of U.S. tech sanctions targeting China. Nvidia noted in an SEC filing that the U.S. government had imposed new export restrictions on two of its most advanced AI chips to China, its second-largest market after Taiwan, making up […] → Read More

Stacked gets $13M to be the Twitch for web3 gamers –

Few areas in tech today are as polarized as the blockchain gaming space. Legacy developers and gamers are calling play-to-earn games Ponzi schemes, while crypto-believers say games that incorporate “tokenomics” are the future for empowering players and creators. Before the debate is settled, the ecosystem around blockchain games is already getting built and funded. Los […] → Read More

Animoca Brands’ Japan unit raises $45M at $500M valuation for NFT push –

Asia’s crypto games and web3 investment powerhouse Animoca Brands is making inroads into Japan as its local unit picks up $45 million in financing at a $500 million pre-money valuation. The investment, which was shelled out equally by the parent firm Animoca Brands and MUFG Bank, the largest bank in Japan with 360 years of […] → Read More

Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster jazzes up China’s AR startup Nreal with $15M funding –

Augmented reality headsets have been around for years, but none of the market players has really expanded beyond the techy demographic and broken into the mainstream. An AR startup hopes to change that by partnering with an eyewear fashion brand. Nreal, the well-funded Chinese AR headset maker that’s been making aggressive global expansion, said Friday […] → Read More