Lately, when San Francisco makes national headlines, it’s about crime, homelessness or questions about whether tech companies will ever return to downtown.
So this week, it was nice to see San Francisco in the news for a different reason, as U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping of China came to town for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, a summit of world leaders to promote trade.
I have never seen so many tech CEOs come to town to wine, dine and opine. It is not surprising, per se. Government officials wield tremendous power—so much of it that founders could be spotted wearing suits. (I can’t reveal who because such state fashion secrets are technically off the record.)
But this week’s events paint some of this tension—between the U.S. tech industry and China and between Washington, D.C., and the tech industry—in a different light. Because when push came to shove, the tech leaders showed up and wooed.