If it were basketball, it would be The Dream Team, if chess, the grandmaster elite. The biggest names in the pantheon of U.S.-China technology met in Seattle this September 23rd in a diplomatic and technocratic sign of respect to the visiting president of China, Xi Jinping.
Captured in the photo above, in the front row, from left to right, are Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, former Cisco CEO John Chamber, Alibaba founder Jack M, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In the second row are Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf , Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (two spots to the right) and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. In the third row, we see Airbnb cofounder Brian Chesky standing next to Baidu’s Robin Li, at the far right.
This picture was taken at an event hosted by Microsoft, which included China’s internet czar Lu Wei, who oversees Chinese restrictions on foreign tech companies. Xi was also set to cross paths with Bill Gates on Wednesday, a spokesperson from the Microsoft co-founder’s office confirmed.
Earlier this day, Xi attended a forum hosted by the Paulson Foundation, an economic think tank founded by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. where he met with 30 American and Chinese CEOs, including the group named above and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett. Also there were executives from Chinese tech giants Tencent, Lenovo and Alibaba.
The group discussed a range of issues, including trade relations. Xi told attendees he wants to make China more accessible to American investors. U.S. CEOs spoke of their concerns about intellectual property protection and regulation transparency. They also touched on clean energy and how the countries can work together to develop new technologies.
On Tuesday, Xi signed a pact with some U.S. governors committing to work with the U.S. on clean energy development. The Chinese government also recently announced it plans to import such technology from America.
Xi also said Tuesday that he’s ready to talk about Internet security with the U.S. It’s a hot topic after a series of hacking incidents have strained relations between the countries, although Xi insists Beijing is not involved. In a speech that drew laughter from the audience on more than one occasion, Xi worked in references to both the classic 1993 film “Sleepless In Seattle,” and the Netflix hit “House of Cards.”
“In our vigorous campaign against corruption, we have punished both tigers and flies,” he said. “This has nothing to do with power struggle. In this case, there is no House of Cards.”
Xi also stressed the importance of the Sino-U.S. relationship, arguing that neither side would benefit from a confrontation.
“If China and the U.S. cooperate well, they can become a bedrock of global stability and a booster of world peace,” he said. “Should they enter into conflict or confrontation, it would lead to disaster for both countries.”
President Xi Jinping said that China is ready to open a “high-level” dialogue with the U.S. to fight cybercrime, while insisting that his government has never engaged in hacking.
“Commercial cybertheft and hacking against government networks are crimes that must be punished in accordance with the law and relevant international treaties,” Xi said Tuesday at a dinner banquet in downtown Seattle. “The Chinese government will not … engage in commercial theft or encourage or support such attempts by anyone.”
Xi’s audience included some of America’s top business executives, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other luminaries. [24×7]