Chinese president Xi Jinping is touring the US for the first time this week, meeting with officials from the government but also, just as importantly, with leaders of the tech industry. The group photo above is proof of the importance of Xi's visit, with some of the most powerful men in tech from China and the US (and yes, it's mostly men, unfortunately) assembled for high-level talks with the Chinese president.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is present, along with Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Apple's Tim Cook, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos. Notably absent is Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Google is still blocked in China after refusing to censor its search results in 2010, although it should be noted that Facebook is banned too and yet Zuckerberg is present. The representatives from the Chinese firms in attendance (which have a combined market cap of $1 trillion) include Alibaba's CEO Jack Ma, Lenovo's CEO Yang Yuanqing, the head of Baidu, Robin Li, and Ma Huateng, the CEO of Tencent. It's an impressive family photo — which you can view full-size here.
talks are expected to include the alleged theft of US intellectual property
The meeting is being billed as simply the eighth US-China Internet Industry Forum, but it's thought that politics, as much as business, will be under discussion. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Xi's goals are thought to include easing tensions between the two countries over issues such as the alleged theft of US intellectual property by China, and the Obama administration's threat of import sanctions in retaliation.
Whether or not US companies can do business in China is also likely to be a topic of conversation, with Apple used as an example of how a US firm can succeed in the Chinese market. "The companies who are all there are going to be able to hear from Tim Cook," Alec Ross, a former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton told the WSJ. "Xi will turn to Tim Cook and say ‘We are so pleased you are doing business in our country.’ And what Apple represents is that American companies can enter the consumer market in China and win."