Tech executives are reportedly scrambling to secure an invitation to a dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to San Francisco. The city is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, providing a unique opportunity for American CEOs to strengthen their ties with China. The dinner, although not officially listed on the APEC schedule, is highly sought after by business leaders attending the event. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Citigroup’s Jane Fraser, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk are among the prominent figures scheduled to attend. According to Bloomberg, many other tech leaders are making their best efforts to secure a seat at the exclusive dinner.
The relationship between the US and China has been tense due to chip rivalries, geopolitical issues, and Taiwan. However, major corporations like Apple rely on China for manufacturing and access to its consumer market. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook will not be attending APEC, a government-affairs official will represent the company in his place. The presence of business leaders at the summit is seen as an opportunity to gauge if the US-China relationship is improving, particularly if President Xi interacts with them.
In addition to the dinner with Xi, APEC will feature various discussions and speeches by tech industry leaders. Exxon CEO Darren Woods is scheduled to deliver a speech on addressing the climate challenge, while Elon Musk will engage in a conversation on artificial intelligence and the future with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. These engagements provide platforms for further discussion and collaboration between key players in the tech industry.
The APEC summit serves as a crucial meeting point for President Xi and President Joe Biden, who are expected to sign an agreement that limits the use of artificial intelligence in nuclear weapon control systems. The outcome of their discussions will likely have significant implications for international relations and technological advancements.
As China grapples with economic challenges, including a property market resembling the US crisis of 2008 and high youth unemployment rates, President Xi’s visit to San Francisco holds great significance. Tech executives hope that this meeting and the potential thawing of US-China relations will pave the way for more collaborative opportunities and a mutually beneficial future.