Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Microsoft CEO Brad Smith participates in a gathering at The Westin Palace Lodge, on 20 Might, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.

Cezaro De Luca | Europa Press | Getty Pictures

Microsoft President Brad Smith met with China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao on Wednesday to debate matters starting from synthetic intelligence to commerce relations between Washington and Beijing, in keeping with a Youdao-translated Chinese language authorities announcement.

The assembly underscores China’s try to point out it stays favorable to American companies amid continued tensions with the U.S., because it appears to reinvigorate its financial system.

Notably, Smith and Wang’s engagement comes after U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping met final month — a gesture that commentators mentioned confirmed China and the U.S. try to co-operate in areas with potential. It additionally signalled a want to enhance the surroundings for international companies.

Throughout the assembly, Wang mentioned that China is dedicated to offering higher companies for international enterprises, in keeping with a press release from the nation’s commerce ministry. The readout mentioned that the Ministry of Commerce hopes Microsoft will play a “constructive position” in co-operation on synthetic intelligence between China and the U.S.

Microsoft is seen as one of many main gamers in synthetic intelligence, significantly after its reportedly multibillion greenback funding in ChatGPT developer OpenAI earlier this yr.

China’s personal expertise giants — from Alibaba to Baidu and Tencent — have additionally been launching their very own AI fashions and rival merchandise.

Expertise has been some extent of competition between the U.S. and China over the previous few years. Washington has sought to limit China’s entry to key applied sciences akin to semiconductors, and U.S. export curbs just lately focused chips from Nvidia, that are used to coach synthetic intelligence fashions.

Throughout the Biden and Xi assembly, the 2 leaders “affirmed the necessity to deal with the dangers of superior AI techniques and enhance AI security by way of U.S.-China authorities talks,” in keeping with a White Home readout.

Smith and Wang’s assembly seems to have mirrored that.

Conferences between U.S. expertise corporations and the Chinese language authorities have turn into more and more uncommon in recent times, as Washington-Beijing tensions ramped up. As well as, there are only a few U.S. tech corporations working in China, with the likes of Google mum or dad Alphabet and Meta’s companies blocked on the earth’s second-largest financial system.

Nonetheless, this yr, Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner visited China, which is the corporate’s third-largest market. Tesla CEO Elon Musk additionally made a visit to China, the place the electrical carmaker has one among its largest factories. This has partly coincided with simpler journey to China after the extraordinary Covid-19 restrictions that had been lifted in 2022, in addition to Beijing’s want to woo international companies.

Smith mentioned that Microsoft is keen to “actively take part within the digital transformation of China’s financial system” and stays dedicated to selling financial and commerce cooperation between China and the U.S., in keeping with the Chinese language Ministry of Commerce.

Microsoft was not instantly out there for remark concerning the assembly when contacted by CNBC.

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