The CEOs facing off during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US show the importance of tech

He’ll be there.
He’ll be there.
Image: Reuters/Jason Lee
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Chinese President Xi Jinping is to make his first state visit to the US next week. Before showing up at the White House, his first stop is Seattle, where he will spend a jam-packed 36 hours talking tech, including a round table meeting with some of China’s most powerful CEOs and their US counterparts. Tensions have mounted between executives from the two countries over everything from cyber-spying to censorship to intellectual property, so there will be plenty for them to discuss.

The two-hour dialogue, hosted by the Paulson Institute, founded by former treasury secretary Henry F. Paulson, will be held Sept. 23. A third of the attendees from China are from the tech and internet sectors.

And six of the US attendees are from the tech and internet sectors:

Conspicuously missing from both lists are executives from the biggest companies in both countries: Sinopec, China National Petroleum, Walmart, and Exxon. During Xi’s visit to Europe last March, he was accompanied by over 200 Chinese business leaders, many from the energy sector.

Xi will deliver a policy speech at the meeting while Paulson will moderate a discussion with the business leaders, the institution says.

Tech companies at the meeting will “inevitably” talk about cyber security issues, as the Chinese Communist Party’s leading mouthpiece People’s Daily writes on its Wechat account (link in Chinese), but they, and companies in other sectors, will also get “broad space for cooperation.”