Top executives from the tech industry are reportedly rushing to secure an invitation to a dinner with the president of China during a gathering in San Francisco. The United States is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting for the first time in over a decade, providing an opportunity for American CEOs to strengthen their relationships with China. Executives such as Satya Nadella from Microsoft, Jane Fraser from Citigroup, and Elon Musk from Tesla and SpaceX are expected to attend APEC. While some tech leaders have already been invited to the dinner with President Xi Jinping, others are making efforts to secure a seat at the table, as reported by Bloomberg. Although the dinner is not officially listed on APEC’s schedule, Reuters has disclosed that it will take place on Wednesday.
Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon, is scheduled to deliver a speech titled “Reframing the Climate Challenge: Keep the Energy, Curb the Emissions,” while Elon Musk is set to have a conversation on AI and the future with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, according to the official APEC website. The relationship between the United States and China has been tense due to chip rivalries, geopolitics, and the Taiwan issue. However, major businesses like Apple rely on China for manufacturing and to reach its consumers. While Apple CEO Tim Cook will not be attending APEC, a government-affairs official will be present in his stead, Bloomberg reports. Dan Prud’homme, an assistant professor of business at Florida International University, stated, “If Xi is going to meet these business leaders at this summit, they’ll be looking for signals that the US-China relationship is thawing.”
China is also facing economic challenges, including a property market reminiscent of the 2008 crisis in the United States and high youth unemployment. President Xi is expected to meet with President Joe Biden during the summit, and there are hopes that they will sign a deal to restrict the use of artificial intelligence in nuclear weapon control systems.