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China Floats Cloud Concession to Foreign Tech Firms in U.S. Trade Talks

Mar 29 , 2019

China is offering foreign technology firms better access to the country’s fast-growing cloud-computing market, people briefed on the matter said, as Beijing fashions a compromise in a tech sector the U.S. wants opened as part of a trade deal.

Premier Li Keqiang disclosed the proposal to allow trial operations for foreign cloud-service providers at a Monday meeting with about three dozen corporate chieftains, including those from International Business Machines Corp., Pfizer Inc., Rio Tinto PLC, BMW AG and Daimler AG . The plan is part of a package of offers on technology-related issues Chinese negotiators are expected to discuss with their U.S. counterparts during high-level meetings scheduled for Friday, the people said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who arrived in Beijing on Thursday, are to hold the new round of talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to try to close a deal to end the yearlong trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. Next week, a Beijing delegation headed by Mr. Liu will continue the talks in Washington. 

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