By Heather Clancy
September 28, 2015

In case there was any doubt about the critical role that information technology will play in future China-United States relations, consider this. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Apple’s Tim Cook all scored at seats at the head table during Friday’s state dinner with President Obama.

Soon after, however, Cook and Zuck raced back to Silicon Valley to meet with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, the first leader from that country to visit the west coast in close to three decades.

India is increasingly viewed as one of the biggest growth opportunities for American technology companies. Its role could become even more important in the months ahead, given the Chinese government’s ever-changing rules of engagement regarding intellectual property ownership. Many tech giants could find the government’s demands tough to swallow. Modi certainly came off as more approachable than the Chinese contingent. On Sunday, he wrapped up his whirlwind tour with visits at Google and Facebook, where he became emotional talking about his mother during a 50-minute town hall chat with Zuckerberg.

My Monday morning non sequitur: Oil giant Shell is giving up on its plan to drill off the shore of Alaska. You can bet that plan will be the buzz at Fortune‘s annual Brainstorm E conference about emerging energy technologies. The livestream from Austin, Texas, begins Monday afternoon.


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