Bill Gates on Friday met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in China over discussion on Microsoft’s expansion in the country.
The discussion bordered on the worldwide expansion of artificial intelligence and Xi Jinping expressed his support for American companies like Microsoft bringing their AI technology to China..
His meeting with Gates takes place at a time when ties between the US and China are at an all-time low, with AI serving as a major flashpoint.
A number of export regulations have been implemented by the U.S. to impede China’s AI growth, while China has alarmed the international business world with a crackdown on consultants and a prohibition on some sales by American chipmaker Micron in China.
Microsoft supports OpenAI, whose chatbot ChatGPT sparked a global AI craze that has reached China last year.
Chinese authorities do not censor OpenAI or ChatGPT, although OpenAI does not allow users in some countries, including Hong Kong and mainland China, to sign up.
Also, Microsoft has a sizable research facility in China and has been present there for more than 30 years. Although its search results on critical issues are filtered, its Bing portal is the only international search engine accessible from within China’s so-called Great Firewall.
The American IT titan has encountered issues in China recently as the nation has strengthened its grip over the internet industry.
It discontinued LinkedIn China in 2021 and replaced it with a condensed version that mainly focused on jobs.
It stated that it will maintain a presence in China but would also shut down that app in May, citing tough competition and financial difficulties.
Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, left the company’s board in 2020 to devote more time to philanthropic endeavours pertaining to international health, education, and climate change