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

Reuters/Jason Lee
He’ll be there.
  • Zheping Huang
By Zheping Huang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

Jack MaAlibabaInternet
Lu GuanqiuWanxiangAutomotive
Ma HuatengTencentInternet
Yang YuanqinLenovoComputer hardware
Wang Yusuo ENN Energy HoldingsNatural gas
Ma ZehuaCOSCOShipping
Guan QinCSCECConstruction
Wan LongShuanghui GroupMeat processing
Tian GuoliBank of ChinaBanking
Jiang JianqingIndustrial and Commercial Bank of ChinaBanking
Pan GangYili GroupDairy
Robin LiBaiduInternet
Liang HaishanHaier GroupElectronics home appliances
Wang JinshuYuhuang ChemicalChemicals
Li QiangTianjin Pipe GroupSteel pipe making

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

Mary BarraGeneral MotorsAutomotive
Jeff BezosAmazonInternet
Warren BuffettBerkshire HathawayConglomerate
John ChambersCisco Systems Inc.Networking equipment
Tim CookApple Inc.Consumer electronics
Dave CoteHoneywellConglomerate
Bob IgerThe Walt Disney CompanyMass media & Entertainment
Ellen KullmanDuPontChemicals
Andrew LiverisThe Dow Chemical CompanyChemicals
Satya NadellaMicrosoftComputer software
Indra NooyiPepsiCoBeverages
Dennis MuilenbergThe Boeing CompanyAerospace
Tom PritzkerHyatt Hotels CorporationHospitality
Ginni RomettyIBM CorporationComputer hardware
Howard SchultzStarbucksCoffee

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.”

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