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What did China’s tech bosses have to say about Xi’s visit to Seattle

Jing Gao

28 tech industry heavyweights from both China and the United States gathered yesterday at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the eighth annual U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum.

Below is a picture of all of them standing together with President Xi and Chinese Internet czar Lu Wei in the middle. This picture is worth at least 23 trillion USD, based on the combined market capitalization of the publicly-traded companies that the people present represent. Privately-owned companies, such as Airbnb, Didi Chuxing and Sequoia Capital, were not included in this calculation though their senior executives were present.

Photo courtesy of Tencent Tech

Via Weibo

Another who’s-who picture identifying some of the most powerful names in the tech world.

A breakdown of company wealth: (Unit: Billion USD)

The U.S. side:

Apple; CEO Tim Cook; market cap: 651.9

Microsoft; CEO Satya Nadella; market cap: 350.9

Facebook; CEO Mark Zuckerberg; market cap: 264.8

Amazon; CEO Jeff Bezos; market cap: 250.7

IBM; CEO Ginni Rometty; market cap: 140.7

Intel; CEO Brian Krzanich; market cap: 136.6

Cisco; former CEO John Chambers; market cap: 127.9

Qualcomm; CEO Steven Mollenkopf; market cap: 84.2

LinkedIn; founder Reid Hoffman; market cap: 25.7

AMD; CEO Lisa Su; market cap: 1.3

Total market cap on the U.S. side: USD 19.347 trillion


The Chinese side:

Tencent; CEO Pony Ma; market cap: 158.5

Alibaba; Chairman Jack Ma; market cap: 149.7

Baidu; President Zhang Yaqin; market cap: 46.5; CEO Liu Qiangdong; market cap: 33.3

Lenovo; CEO Yang Yuanqing; market cap: 9.5

Qihoo-360; CEO  Zhou Hongyi; market cap: 6.2

Sugon; CEO Li Jun; market cap: 2.9

Sina; Chairman Charles Chao; market cap: 2.2

Sohu; Charles Zhang; market cap: 1.6

Total market cap on the Chinese side: 4.104 trillion USD


What President Xi said

“China will open up still wider to the outside world. Without reform there will be no driving force,” said President Xi to business leaders present at the meeting.

Both China and the United States are Internet superpowers and the internet is ubiquitous, from people’s everyday lives, to a country’s key infrastructure. How to manage and harness the Internet’s potential remains a major challenge. No country can distance itself from it, he said, according to a People’s Daily report.

He also said that China and the United States should open up to constructive dialogue and establish cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and trust.

“The Chinese people have always held American entrepreneurship and creativity in high regard,” Xi was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.

What the company executives said

Jack Ma, Chairman of

“Yesterday, President Xi said, ‘China now has around 300 million people in the middle-income range and that number will grow to 500 million in the next 10 to 15 years.’ Though incomes are in the middle range, consumption remains pretty low. This a huge opportunity for businesses. Helping boost consumption will not only drive the transition of China’s economy, but will contribute enormously to driving the world economy.”

“On the subject of increased pressure for Chinese businesses in the traditional industry sector, we should not fail to notice that growth in the new economy has been as impressive as the United States. In only 12 years, the scale achieved by Alibaba on the Internet is comparable to what Wal-Mart has achieved around the globe. Rather than brag about what an amazing job we have done, I attribute this to the enormous potential of the Chinese market.”

“In the next five years, we plan to provide China-based internships to 500 American students. We will also give priority to U.S.-educated Chinese students and American overseas during our hiring process.”

Pony Ma, Tencent:

“While our main business is social networks, I concede it has many disadvantages. Some people say, the greatest distance felt in the world is when sitting right next to somebody absorbed in their mobile phone. We are all reading messages and refreshing our Moments (WeChat’s social news feed), and we forget about communication with the people around us. It does harm to our families, even to our eyes. It is a big problem. We hope in the future technology can allow us to communicate through brainwaves.”

Liu Qiangdong,

“China has long been an important market for American venture capitalists.  Many Chinese Internet firms have received American investment and have chosen to go public in the ‘States.”

“Chinese Internet firms have been actively expanding their overseas operations and increasing their investment and acquisition efforts. Many companies, including Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and, have set up subsidiaries or R&D branches in the United States.”

“The United States is the birthplace of the Internet. China has the largest internet market in the world with more than 600 million internet users of which nearly 600 million are accessing the Internet through mobile devices. I personally believe that in the next ten years, Chinese Internet users, including those on mobile devices, will approximate or even exceed one billion. Both Chinese and U.S. Internet companies will benefit greatly from that.”

Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo:

“Lenovo has grown from a Chinese company with yearly revenue of three billion USD into a globalized company with operations in more than 160 countries and annual revenue of 46.3 billion USD. Now we are the best-selling PC maker in the world, with one Lenovo in every five PCs sold worldwide.”

“Acquisition has led to our increasing contribution to the Chinese economy. In the past decade, our turnover has grown five-fold and our staff has quadrupled to 40,000. We’ve successfully brought Chinese-made and Chinese-innovated high-tech products to every corner of the world.”

“At the same time, we’ve come to realize that this is an era of global resource allocation. Therefore we value skills and talent during acquisition. We don’t simply remove or relocate core business acquisitions. On the contrary, we strengthen these core businesses and harness them to their full potential. Today, ThinkPad laptop R&D remains in Yokohama (Japan) and Raleigh (North Carolina, U.S.). Motorola remains in Chicago and Silicon Valley. Systemx remains in North Carolina. But we also take advantage of our inherent strengths, things like manufacturing, management and our high-efficiency supply chain, which help turn initial losses into profit. For example, when we acquired the ThinkPad PC business, it was operating at an annual loss of 200 million USD. Now it is making a net profit of one billion per year.”

Zhang Yaqin, Baidu:

“I studied and worked in the U.S. and later returned to China. I witnessed the flourishing of U.S.-China economic cooperation. Baidu owes its birth and growth in part to the healthy environment created since China’s reform, and also to the trust and support coming from American investors. Baidu’s exceptional performance is a great return for American investors. As the largest Chinese search engine in the world, from the time of Baidu’s IPO in 2005, Baidu’s stock price has significantly gone up. It has become an Internet company with global influence. Today, many of you here are actually important business clients of Baidu.”

“Right now, China and the U.S. follow development paths that are merging. Strategic partnerships in areas such as technology, capital, talent, market and operations are expanding. Baidu, for example, is building mutually beneficial partnerships with Microsoft and Uber. China and the U.S. each have their own strengths and characteristics and differences in business models are becoming more evident. Working together will help us give full play to our strengths, facilitate innovation and break through our own developmental bottlenecks. Baidu is right now vigorously branching into multiple O2O areas including healthcare, education, finance and group-buying. We strive to connect people with services and “index” the real world.”

Other highlights:

Via Zhou Hongyi’s Weibo

Zhou Hongyi, Qihoo-360 founder & CEO, shows off his Qiku smartphone to Apple’s Tim Cook and takes a photo together. He wants Cook to know not all Chinese smartphones are rip-offs. Tim Cook appears to be interested in built-in software able to analyze facial features and estimate age.

Via Xi Jinping’s fan club on Weibo

President Xi does not use an iPhone either. Xi’s phone is an AXON, by Chinese smartphone maker ZTE.

Via Xi Jinping’s fan club on Weibo

But Xi’s coffee of choice is from Starbucks!

Via Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page

Alluding to Chinese internet censorship, a Chinese netizen comments: Mr. “According-to-relevant-laws-regulations-and-policies-some-search-results-are-not-displayed” meets the CEO of “404 Page Not Found.”

Via Weibo of Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo CEO

Jack Ma is the sole executive without a tie and Zhou Hongyi is the only executive without matching trousers.

Via Yang Yuanqing’s Weibo

Tencent Chairman, Pony Ma, receives the smartwatch, MOTO 360, as a gift from Yang Yuanqing, who tells Ma he is the first Chinese user of the latest model.

Via Yang Yuanqing’s Weibo

“Vegetarian,” “vegan,” “gluten-free,” “dairy-free,”… Turns out many of the dignitaries are very careful about what they eat.


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