Executives from Microsoft, Citigroup, Exxon Mobil and other large multinationals are converging on San Francisco this week for an audience with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Asian leaders as long-frosty U.S.-China relations show only tentative signs of warming.
For many corporations, the agenda is simple: They’re ready to get back to business.
A CEO summit on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting will coincide with the most challenging trade climate in a generation. Washington is trying to prevent China from acquiring high-end computer chips and has imposed curbs on U.S. investment there. Beijing has responded by jump-starting its own chip efforts and exhorting citizens to buy locally made phones and other products. From tech to logistics, oil and gas to finance, companies are struggling to maintain access to Chinese consumers even as they try to navigate a growing list of regulations, tariffs and export controls.