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Friday night’s State Dinner with President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the White House drew a who’s who list of Hollywood and Silicon Valley execs — after a day of private meetings between Obama and Xi where they discussed both industries’ concerns regarding cyber attacks and piracy issues.
Attendees included: Disney chief Bob Iger, DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull, Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, Disney’s John Lasseter, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with his pregnant wife Priscilla Chan, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Narayana Nadella, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff, Hollywood fundraiser Andy Spahn, actor/director Lee Daniels, MPAA chief Chris Dodd, sports and entertainment mogul Mark Cuban, and Henry Kissinger.
Netflix announced earlier this month that it plans begin operations in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan early next year. The company is also hoping to make entry into China, as is Tull’s Legendary Pictures. Meanwhile Zuckerberg has been struggling to get open access to Facebook in China. The Silicon Valley execs met with Xi earlier this week at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
According to a pool report from the dinner, Obama opened his toast by welcoming the Chinese president and guests to the White House. “We honor the ties between our nations and our people,” he said.
Xi told the gathering: “My state visit to the United States is an unforgettable journey. From the west coast to the east coast, what strikes me most is that the American people have a lot of goodwill towards the Chinese people. And therefore, much more can be accomplished through enhanced China-U.S. cooperation. I want to assure you that such goodwill is fully reciprocated by the Chinese people. Since yesterday evening, I have had three meetings with President Obama.”
Earlier in the day, Obama told reporters at a joint press conference with Xi that he “raised once again our very serious concerns about growing cyber-threats to American companies and American citizens.”
“I can announce that our two countries have reached a common understanding on the way forward,” Obama said. “We’ve agreed that neither the U.S. or the Chinese government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information for commercial advantage. In addition, we’ll work together, and with other nations, to promote international rules of the road for appropriate conduct in cyberspace.”
While Obama called the agreement “progress,” he added: “I have to insist that our work is not yet done.”
Story updated 6:20 pm to include additional details on the dinner.
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