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Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to meet with a group of lawmakers visiting Hollywood and Silicon Valley in the coming week, with China as the main topic of conversation. The bipartisan delegation, led by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), chairman of the new House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, will speak with high-level executives during a three-day trip.
According to Axios, the trip is intended to allow lawmakers to hear from executives about how they are thinking about various issues, with the main focus being China. However, the conversations are said to be private and constructive, without any legislative agenda.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers will speak to Disney CEO Bob Iger, along with producers, former studio executives, and screenwriters. On Thursday, they will meet with Silicon Valley leaders including Microsoft president Brad Smith, Alphabet president of global affairs and chief legal officer Kent Walker, and other experts and venture capitalists.
The highlight of the trip will be Cook’s meeting with the lawmakers on Friday. Cook recently attended the China Development Forum, where he met with China’s commerce minister Wang Wentao and discussed plans to stabilize industrial and supply chains. Cook also spoke at the summit itself, praising the “symbiotic” 30-year relationship between Apple and China.
Given Cook’s recent visit to China and Apple’s significant business presence in the country, it is likely that the discussions between Cook and the lawmakers will be of great interest to tech industry observers and China watchers alike.
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The visit comes as tensions between the US and China continue to simmer, with issues such as trade, intellectual property, and human rights coming to the forefront. With the US government seeking to exert greater control over the tech industry, it remains to be seen what impact, if any, the lawmakers’ conversations with industry leaders will have on US-China relations.