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Bill Gates Visits China as Leaders Try to Revive Foreign Business Interest

Gates is revered in China as an entrepreneur.

Bill Gates reacts during a visit with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Imperial College University, in central London, on Feb. 15, 2023.
Bill Gates reacts during a visit with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Imperial College University, in central London, on Feb. 15, 2023.
Justin Tallis/Pool Photo via AP, File

BEIJING (AP) — Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates says he is in Beijing, joining a series of foreign business figures who have visited China as the ruling Communist Party tries to revive investor interest in the country.

Gates, who stepped down as Microsoft chairman in 2014, said on Twitter late Wednesday that he would meet partners who have worked with his charitable foundation. However, Gates is revered in China as an entrepreneur, giving Chinese leaders a chance to show their interest in foreign business by publicizing any meetings with him.

CEOs of global companies including Elon Musk of Tesla Ltd. and Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook have visited China this year and met Premier Li Qiang, the top economic official, and Cabinet ministers following the end of anti-virus controls that blocked most international travel.

"I'm excited to visit with partners who have been working on global health and development challenges with @gatesfoundation for more than 15 years," Gates wrote on Twitter. He gave no details.

The ruling party is trying to revive foreign interest in China's slowing economy and reassure companies that have been rattled by anti-monopoly and data-security crackdowns, raids on consulting firms, tension with Washington and pressure to align their plans with official development goals.

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