The list of CEOs facing off during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US shows the importance of tech by Zheping Huang

Chinese President Xi Jinping is to make his first state visit to the US next week. Before showing up at the White House, his first stop is Seattle, where he will spend a jam-packed 36 hours talking tech, including a round table meeting with some of China’s most powerful CEOs and their US counterparts. Tensions have mounted between executives from the two countries over everything from cyber-spying to censorship to intellectual property, so there will be plenty for them to discuss.

The two-hour dialogue, hosted by the Paulson Institute, founded by former treasury secretary Henry F. Paulson, will be held Sept. 23. A third of the attendees from China are from the tech and internet sectors.

CEO Company Industry
Jack Ma Alibaba Internet
Lu Guanqiu Wanxiang Automotive
Ma Huateng Tencent Internet
Yang Yuanqin Lenovo Computer hardware
Wang Yusuo  ENN Energy Holdings Natural gas
Ma Zehua COSCO Shipping
Guan Qin CSCEC Construction
Wan Long Shuanghui Group Meat processing
Tian Guoli Bank of China Banking
Jiang Jianqing Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Banking
Pan Gang Yili Group Dairy
Robin Li Baidu Internet
Liang Haishan Haier Group Electronics home appliances
Wang Jinshu Yuhuang Chemical Chemicals
Li Qiang Tianjin Pipe Group Steel pipe making

And six of the US attendees are from the tech and internet sectors:

CEO Company Industry
Mary Barra General Motors Automotive
Jeff Bezos Amazon Internet
Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway Conglomerate
John Chambers Cisco Systems Inc. Networking equipment
Tim Cook Apple Inc. Consumer electronics
Dave Cote Honeywell Conglomerate
Bob Iger The Walt Disney Company Mass media & Entertainment
Ellen Kullman DuPont Chemicals
Andrew Liveris The Dow Chemical Company Chemicals
Satya Nadella Microsoft Computer software
Indra Nooyi PepsiCo Beverages
Dennis Muilenberg The Boeing Company Aerospace
Tom Pritzker Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hospitality
Ginni Rometty IBM Corporation Computer hardware
Howard Schultz Starbucks Coffee

Conspicuously missing from both lists are executives from the biggest companies in both countries: Sinopec, China National Petroleum, Walmart, and Exxon. During Xi’s visit to Europe last March, he was accompanied by over 200 Chinese business leaders, many from the energy sector.

Xi will deliver a policy speech at the meeting while Paulson will moderate a discussion with the business leaders, the institution says.

Tech companies at the meeting will “inevitably” talk about cyber security issues, as the Chinese Communist Party’s leading mouthpiece People’s Daily writes on its Wechat account (link in Chinese), but they, and companies in other sectors, will also get “broad space for cooperation.”

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