Rita Liao, TechCrunch

Rita Liao



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Recent articles by Rita:

China smartphone market slumps to 10-year low in 2022

After a decade of frantic growth, China’s smartphone market is hitting a speed bump as COVID-19 roils the world’s second-largest economy. The country’s smartphone shipments dropped 14% year-over-year in 2022, reaching a ten-year low, according to research firm Counterpoint. It was also the first time that China’s smartphone shipment had dropped below 300 million units […] → Read More

Share Creators wants to solve asset management mess for game developers

Finding a product-market fit isn’t always easy, but when you are the end-user experiencing a real pain point, the solution might be more obvious. That’s the case for newly-funded Share Creators, a platform that helps game developers manage and store large media assets as remote work becomes increasingly common in the industry. Based in the […] → Read More

Shein valuation reportedly plummets by a third as it seeks $3B

Shein, the fast fashion behemoth that has swept across the world, is raising a significant down round as the startup world braces for a funding crunch. The e-commerce platform known for jaw-dropping outfit prices and savvy TikTok marketing is seeking $3 billion at a valuation of $64 billion, down from the $100 billion price tag […] → Read More

Wristcheck wants to make used luxury watches more affordable

In an age when almost everything can be bought online, watch resale is done in a surprisingly archaic way, namely, face-to-face with little price transparency. Wristcheck, a startup based out of Hong Kong, is taking a shot at digitizing the industry. Traditional secondhand watch dealing is a “buy low sell high” business that often puts […] → Read More

Didi gets China approval to relaunch after 18-month security probe

Eighteen months after its app was suspended in China, ride hailing giant Didi made a comeback on Monday. The move came as China showed signs of easing up its sweeping regulatory clampdown on the internet sector over the past three years. In July 2021, Chinese authorities ordered the country’s app stores to remove Didi, citing […] → Read More

Clouds might be scattering in China’s venture capital world

For venture capitalists, the pandemic has been a tumultuous ride. → Read More

Kleiner Perkins-backed Vylo thinks the future of news is video commentary

TikTok has revolutionized the way people consume and share information. Now a startup called Vylo wants to take the short video format a step further and lets users share their thoughts about sports, current affairs, and other categories of news by filming themselves talking. My first reaction to the idea was: why does one need […] → Read More

This startup brings Southeast Asia’s vacant hospital rooms into the sharing economy

Uber and Airbnb have long been the poster children for the sharing economy. In other realms of society, entrepreneurs are also trying to match demand with untapped assets and services. HD, a startup based out of Bangkok, is applying the economic model to healthcare in Southeast Asia. HD operates a platform that helps three parties […] → Read More

How China is building a parallel generative AI universe

The gigantic technological leap that machine learning models have shown in the last few months is getting everyone excited about the future of AI — but also nervous about its uncomfortable consequences. After text-to-image tools from Stability AI and OpenAI became the talk of the town, ChatGPT’s ability to hold intelligent conversations is the new […] → Read More

Alibaba CEO to oversee cloud arm following major server outage

When Alibaba’s former CEO Jack Ma passed the torch to Daniel Zhang, he established a system that regularly rotates executives to ensure the company always stays agile in the fast-changing internet space. It’s time for this year’s reshuffle — the e-commerce and cloud computing titan made a few major reshuffle announcements on Thursday. The decision […] → Read More

Baidu starts offering nighttime driverless taxis in China

Baidu, the Chinese internet giant that became known for its search engines, is making some big strides in autonomous driving. Starting this week, the public can ride its robotaxis in Wuhan between 7 am and 11 pm without safety drivers behind the wheel. Previously, its unmanned vehicles could only operate from 9 am to 5 […] → Read More

As expats fled China’s zero-COVID, this developer built a sci-fi game for NetEase

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, foreigners have been leaving China in droves to escape the country’s strict “zero-COVID” restrictions, which had limited people’s domestic and overseas travel for nearly three years until rules began to relax recently. So when NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China, said it had an expats-led studio working […] → Read More

Salon software Mangomint raises $13M as it booms in post-COVID labor shortage

Ever needed to read your credit card information on the phone to make a massage appointment? The process is annoying, and it makes you wonder how safe it is to give a stranger your personal details. That’s why Los Angeles-based Mangomint built a SaaS tool that strives to streamline the booking experience for the beauty […] → Read More

Crypto trader Amber raises $300M as it seeks protection for FTX-hit customers

Amber Group, a Sequoia- and Temasek-backed crypto trading firm, has closed a hefty $300 million Series C funding round as the collapse of FTX shakes the crypto world. The news, which the Singapore-based firm announced on Twitter Friday morning, follows on the heels of a Bloomberg report claiming that the crypto trader has ditched a […] → Read More

Lucid wants a slice of China’s crowded EV market

Lucid Motors, the publicly traded electric carmaker, is poised to enter China as it starts hiring in the world’s largest EV market. The California-based auto company is recruiting a dozen positions in Shanghai, its LinkedIn posts show. The roles range from product management, marketing and sales, public policy, design, supply chain management, to software development. […] → Read More

China’s generative AI rules set boundaries and punishments for misuse

As text-to-image generators and intelligent chatbots keep blowing people’s minds, China has swiftly moved to lay out what people can do with the tools built on powerful AI models. The country’s regulators clearly verge on the side of caution when it comes to the consequences of generative AI. That’s a contrast to the US, which […] → Read More

As China relaxes zero-COVID, tech firms assume a larger role in fighting the virus

China’s abrupt easing of its zero-COVID policy last week has led to a spike in cases and rising fears of the virus. Over the last three years, the authority has used big data to monitor the movement of people and thus control the spread of the virus. Now that the government is gradually undoing some […] → Read More

Renault China boss is making super-premium EVs that monitor your health

There’s an ever-growing list of wearables that track people’s health, but what about a vehicle that monitors one’s blood pressure and heart rate with smart sensors and algorithms? That’s the vision of BeyonCa, a young super-premium electric vehicle startup founded by Weiming Soh, the Singaporean auto veteran who’s the current CEO of Renault China and […] → Read More

As its fashion empire booms, Shein wants an ESG makeover

Shein, the world’s largest fashion ecommerce site, has taken significant steps to ramp up its environmental, social, and governance — or ESG — efforts. But responsible fast fashion sounds like an oxymoron. How can clothes be so cheap, if their designers don’t copy luxury brands and if the factories behind aren’t squeezed out of their […] → Read More

Aigens scales digital menus in Asia with $14M round led by Ant

Aigens, a Hong Kong-based startup that provides online ordering and marketing tools for the food and beverage industry, picked up a fresh $14 million Series A funding round led by Ant Group, the fintech behemoth affiliated with Alibaba, the company announced Monday. The capital infusion from Ant came at a time when the Chinese fintech […] → Read More