Microsoft's president meets with the Chinese government to discuss A.I. co-operation

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

Cezaro De Luca | Europa Press | Getty Images

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

The assembly underscores China’s try to present it stays favorable to American companies amid continued tensions with the U.S., because it seems to be to reinvigorate its economic system.

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

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

Microsoft is seen as certainly one of the main gamers in synthetic intelligence, significantly after its reportedly multibillion dollar investment in ChatGPT developer OpenAI earlier this 12 months.

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

Technology has been some extent of rivalry between the U.S. and China over the previous few years. Washington has sought to prohibit China’s entry to key applied sciences reminiscent of semiconductors, and U.S. export curbs recently targeted chips from Nvidia, that are used to prepare synthetic intelligence fashions.

During the Biden and Xi assembly, the two leaders “affirmed the want to deal with the dangers of superior AI methods and enhance AI security via U.S.-China government talks,” in accordance to a White House readout.

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

Meetings between U.S. expertise companies and the Chinese government have grow to be more and more uncommon lately, as Washington-Beijing tensions ramped up. In addition, there are only a few U.S. tech companies working in China, with the likes of Google dad or mum Alphabet and Meta’s providers blocked in the world’s second-largest economic system.

However, this 12 months, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China, which is the firm’s third-largest market. Tesla CEO Elon Musk additionally made a trip to China, the place the electrical carmaker has certainly one of its greatest factories. This has partly coincided with simpler journey to China after the intense Covid-19 restrictions that had been lifted in 2022, in addition to Beijing’s need to woo international companies.

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

Microsoft was not instantly accessible for remark about the assembly when contacted by CNBC.

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