On September 23th, China’s President Xi Jinping will be meeting with executives from the most prominent US tech companies in Seattle, reported the New York Times. The technology forum will be co-hosted by Microsoft.
Invitee list includes big names like Apple, Google, Uber, IBM and more, while equally impressive personas from China like Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Baidu’s Robert Liu are also expected. According to Zuo Xiaodong, Vice President of China Information Security Research institute, the forum is “mostly to discuss the industry cooperation” of the US and China.
The meeting comes at an interesting time, only a few days prior to Xi Jinping’s meeting with US President Obama on September 28, and is seen as an effort by China to brandish its influence and lure US tech firms with the promise of huge potential market, which has always been a tough nut to crack for even tech giants the likes of Facebook and Google.
Also according to the New York Times, Mr. Xi will have dinner at Microsoft legend Bill Gates’s estate in Seattle before his trip to the White House. Bill Gates had good history with China’s top brass, having met China’s former President Hu Jintao during his visit in 2006 and offered personal tech support to Mr. Hu, who admitted to using Windows everyday. The situation has clearly changed since then, however, which showed through China’s ban of Windows 8 in governmental agencies and run-ins with Microsoft China, as it develops an in-house OS to lessen dependence on US software. The fact that Microsoft is co-hosting the forum in Seattle is therefore very interesting to the development of its business in China.