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Bill Gates meets with Chinese officials

Bill Gates meets with Chinese officials
© Getty Images

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates met with China’s technology minister this week, as tensions heat up between the U.S. tech industry and Chinese officials over upcoming cybersecurity regulations.

Gates met with Wan Gang on behalf of his charitable firm, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The departed Microsoft head still sits on the tech giant’s board and regularly advises CEO Satya Nadella.

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U.S. tech companies like Microsoft have felt targeted recently by Chinese officials with heightened regulations, enhanced scrutiny and a series of cyber espionage efforts.

Microsoft is presently under an anti-monopoly investigation and was made to pay a $140 million fine for evading taxes last November.

The Chinese government is also suspected in a cyberattack on Microsoft’s email system in China.

Most recently, tech firms have expressed alarm over upcoming Chinese cybersecurity rules that would force U.S. companies to adopt Chinese encryption standards that give the government full access to internal data. Firms would also be required to turn over any secret code for inspection.

The White House has even weighed in against the potential rules, which are circulating in draft form.

A Friday statement posted to the Chinese technology ministry website did not indicate whether Gates discussed any of the ongoing concerns with Wan.

It said the two talked about technology research, global health and finding ways for Chinese officials and international nonprofits to collaborate, according to the website.