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Tim Cook and Bob Iger to meet with House China committee members


By Brian Fung, CNN

Members of a House panel focused on US-China competition are set to meet with leaders from Silicon Valley and Hollywood during a multi-day tour of California beginning today, according to a source close to the committee.

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party plan to meet with top execs from Google, Microsoft, Apple and Disney, among others, to discuss topics ranging from China’s investments in artificial intelligence to its cultural and human rights record; its impact on supply chains; and its goals for defense and other emerging technologies, the source said.

“We’re going to learn and share our concerns and views on the geopolitics at play here, and what we understand the CCP’s broader ambitions to be,” the source said.

The 10-member bipartisan congressional delegation led by Chairman Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican, will kick things off Wednesday in a meeting with Disney CEO Bob Iger, where lawmakers are expected to raise concerns about Disney’s compliance with China’s censorship regime.

Lawmakers will also dine with entertainment producers and screenwriters who have been critical of the industry’s approach to wooing Chinese viewers, the source said.

On Thursday, lawmakers will engage with officials from Big Tech and venture capital, the source said. Microsoft President Brad Smith will speak to members about China’s control of rare earth minerals, a key input in many modern computing technologies, while experts from Stanford University are set to discuss innovation in the defense field. The group is expected to lunch with Big Tech executives representing Google, Microsoft, Palantir and Scale AI.

On Friday, lawmakers will have conversations with former Defense Secretary James Mattis as well as Apple CEO Tim Cook. China is Apple’s third-largest geographic business segment after the Americas and Europe, accounting for more than $74 billion in company revenues last year. Apple’s revenue from China grew by 70% between 2020 and 2021, according to its financial reports.

The meetings will also include a session on China’s role in the digital currency space and talks with members of the cryptocurrency community based in California, the source added.

The breadth of subjects covered on the tour highlight the range of challenges the Chinese government poses to US leadership, the source said, adding that lawmakers will seek to deliver the message to business that excessive dependence on China — whether for supplies, or as a base of potential customers — exposes the US to risk.

“This committee was set up to build out the bipartisan consensus on the CCP and the actions we need to take to defend ourselves,” the source said. “[The goal is to] make them aware of what’s happening so they can equip themselves as appropriate.”

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