Invoice Gates meets with President Xi Jinping in Beijing

Sizzling on the heels of Elon Musk’s go to to China earlier this month, the nation welcomed one other American tech billionaire. Invoice Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis, met President Xi Jinping on Friday in Beijing, China’s state media reported.

Like Musk, that is Gates’ first journey to China for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted his frequent visits to the nation the place Microsoft has had a presence for twenty years.

The objective of the assembly hasn’t been introduced publicly, however official media reviews will doubtless comply with. A reporter from China’s English state tabloid International Occasions tweeted what appeared to be quotes from the assembly, giving us an early glimpse into the temper of the dialog.

Gates beforehand said he’d be assembly companions engaged on n international well being and improvement challenges. These are the few remaining areas the place China and the West discover frequent floor amid rising geopolitical tensions.

“You’re the first American pal I’ve met in Beijing this yr,” President Xi advised Gates on Friday. “Because the world is rising from covid, individuals ought to transfer round extra, talk extra, and improve their understanding of one another.”

President Xi additionally advised Gates that China is keen to have interaction in “in depth technological innovation cooperation with nations around the globe” and “actively take part in and promote the response to international challenges” corresponding to local weather change and public well being,” in keeping with the reporter.

Gates is visiting China at a curious time. Final week, the Monetary Occasions reported that Beijing-based Microsoft Analysis Asia (MSRA), the tech large’s largest R&D outfit outdoors the U.S., is transferring a few of its prime AI abilities from China to Vancouver to mitigate the impression of the more and more strained relationship between China and the U.S.

The Biden Administration is weighing restrictions on investments from the U.S. into Chinese language cutting-edge applied sciences together with AI, semiconductors and quantum computing.

MSRA, which began in 1998, has performed a pivotal function in coaching China’s AI expertise, a lot of whom have gone on to discovered their very own ventures. That features autonomous driving upstart Momenta, which has attracted funding from Bosch, Common Motors and Toyota.

It gained’t be a shock if Gates is eschewing the sensitive matter of the U.S.-China tech struggle and focuses on philanthropic endeavors on the journey.

A day earlier than assembly President Xi, he introduced a renewed collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Authorities and Tsinghua College on revolutionary therapies for infectious ailments in low- and middle-income nations. As a part of the partnership, the Gates Basis pledged a donation of $50 million to the International Well being Drug Discovery Institute, a nonprofit establishment established in 2016 as “China’s first public-private partnership on revolutionary analysis between the Beijing Municipal Authorities, Tsinghua College, and the Gates Basis,” in keeping with the institute’s web site.

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