If the tech world had an All-Star Game, today’s Internet Forum at Microsoft could certainly qualify.
Top CEOs like Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, and 23 other executives gathered today in Redmond, Wash., to meet with China President Xi Jinping at the conclusion of the eighth annual U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum. It was a rare gathering of some of the most powerful people in the tech industry who traveled from across the globe to Microsoft’s campus this week.
Before posing for a group picture and making a few remarks, the president and first lady Peng Liyuan joined Nadella, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Microsoft President Brad Smith, and others at the company’s executive building for a short tour that included technology demos of Microsoft products like the HoloLens and data visualization software.
President Xi then made his way to a large room to meet the CEOs, many of whom already spoke with China’s leader at a roundtable meeting earlier Wednesday. He went down the first line and shook hands with people like Zuckerberg, who spent 30 seconds delivering a message in Chinese to the president — the Facebook founder knows the language pretty well — before taking the podium for a quick speech.
“On a personal note, this was the first time I’ve ever spoken with a world leader entirely in a foreign language,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook, which is banned in China. “I consider that a meaningful personal milestone. It was an honor to meet President Xi and other leaders.”
“We are at Microsoft, while in the morning, I visited Boeing, which is hardware,” President Xi told the CEOs. “So, we’ve had both the hard things and the soft things.”
Presdient Xi, who is in the Seattle region this week meeting with business executives and government officials before heading to Washington D.C. to see President Obama, said he was impressed with the “beautiful campus of Microsoft.” He also noted that 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of cooperation between Microsoft and China.
“Microsoft products and the Windows operating system have shaped man’s cognition of computing technologies,” said the president, who was accompanied by a large delegation that included China’s “Internet czar” Lu Wei.
“China advocates the building of a peaceful, secure, open, and cooperative cyberspace and believes that countries should formulate Internet-related public policies in line with their respective national realities,” he said.
The president noted that China has the world’s largest Internet market, while the U.S. boasts the “most-advanced Internet technologies.”
“The two sides should, on the basis of mutual respect, carry out constructive dialogue on cyber issues and forge a new highlight of China-U.S. cooperation so that cyberspace will provide more benefits to the people of both countries, as well as people of the whole world,” he said.
Here are the CEOs that attended, starting with the top row in this picture — any guesses at the net worth in this room?
Top row: Sugon CEO Li Jun; Didi-Kuaidi CEO Cheng Wei; Broadband Capital CEO Tian Suning; CEC CEO Liu Liehong; Baidu CEO Zhang Yaqin; AME Cloud Ventures CEO Jerry Yang; Inspur CEO Sun Pishu; Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky; Sequoia Capital China founder Shen Nanpeng.
Middle row: Sohu CEO Zhang Chaoyang; AMD CEO Lisa Su; Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing; Microsoft VP Harry Shum; Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf; CETC CEO Xiong Qunli; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; Qihoo 360 CEO Zhou Hongyi; LinkedIn Chairman Reid Hoffman; SINA CEO Cao Guowei.
Bottom row: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; JD.com CEO Liu Qiangdong; Cisco Chairman John Chambers; Alibaba founder Jack Ma; IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; President Xi; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; China Minister Lu Wei; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Tencent CEO Pony Ma; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.