Corporate chiefs have been making a beeline for China ever since the country reopened its economy late last year following the strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
Bill Gates, a former tech entrepreneur who has now settled into the role of a climate evangelist and philanthropist, is in China currently in connection with his mission.
Gates would meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday during his China visit, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The rumored rendezvous would be the Chinese leader’s first meeting with a foreign private tech entrepreneur in recent years, the report.
The highest-ranking official Tesla CEO Elon Musk met while he was in China earlier this month was Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang.
Gates’ meeting with Xi could be one-to-one, Reuters said. The previous meeting between the two was in 2015 on the sidelines of the Boao Forum in Hainan province.
The Microsoft co-founder confirmed his presence in China through a tweet on Wednesday.
“I’ve just landed in Beijing for the first time since 2019, where I’m excited to visit with partners who have been working on global health and development challenges with @gatesfoundation for more than 15 years,” he said.
I’ve just landed in Beijing for the first time since 2019, where I’m excited to visit with partners who have been working on global health and development challenges with @gatesfoundation for more than 15 years.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 14, 2023
Highlighting the socio-economic issues the global economies are facing, the billionaire said solving problems like climate change, health inequity and food security requires innovation.
China has a lot of experience in that, Gates said, citing the country’s development of malaria drugs and investment in climate adaptation. “We need to unlock that kind of progress for more people around the world,” he added.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Maham Javaid and Virginia Van Zandt