The top executives of five of the biggest tech companies in the U.S. will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle on Wednesday.
Xi arrived in Seattle on Tuesday at the start of his first official visit to the U.S. and is scheduled to tour a Boeing plant in the city. Before a Wednesday evening dinner at the house of Bill Gates, he will speak at a business forum at which major U.S. and Chinese executives will be present.
Among those in attendance will be Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Sataya Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, according to a list published by China’s Xinhua news agency.
From China, tech executives will include the CEO of Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing; Alibaba CEO Jack Ma; Baidu CEO Robin Li; and Tencent CEO Pony Ma. And that’s just the tech list. The group will also include Warren Buffett and the CEOs of companies including Starbucks, Walt Disney, Boeing and General Motors.
Absent from the list is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who impressed an audience at Beijing’s Tsinghua University last year with a speech in Chinese, and executives from Google. The search and advertising giant pulled out of China in 2010 after its Gmail service was attacked by hackers, although a recent report said it’s preparing to re-enter the county.
President Xi is scheduled to depart Seattle on Thursday for Washington, D.C., where he will have dinner at the White House with President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
The issue of cybersecurity and particularly cyberespionage is expected to be high on the agenda at the dinner and it’s possible the U.S. and China could announce some sort of agreement on state-sponsored attacks, although that’s still unclear.
On Friday, Xi will be back at the White House for lunch and a news conference with President Obama and will then visit Capitol Hill. On Saturday, he will travel to New York to attend the United Nations before speaking there on Monday and returning to China later the same day.