US high-tech trade missions head for China

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) officials will lead two delegations of executives from U.S. telecommunications and microelectronics companies to China in the coming months as part of an effort to promote U.S. business interests in the world’s most populous country.

The first delegation, which will attend the China-U.S. Telecom Summit, will be comprised of up to 30 U.S. telecommunications companies and will be led by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nancy Victory and U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael J. Copps and will visit Xiamen, Fujian province, from February 20-22.

The China-U.S. Telecom Summit will include a meeting with the outgoing head of China’s Ministry of Information Industry, Wu Jichuan, who is widely expected to step down from his post as minister during China’s National People’s Congress in March. In addition, the delegation will meet with telecommunications officials from several Chinese cities and provinces, including Shanghai, Guangdong province and Fujian province, as well as executives from Chinese operators and equipment makers, like China Telecom Corp., China Netcom Communication Group Corp., China Mobile Communications Corp., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Datang Telecom Technology Co. Ltd., according to the Telecommunications Industry Association, which is working with DOC to organize the visit.

Among the companies that will participate in the China-U.S. Telecom Summit are Agilent Technologies Inc., Motorola Inc., Nortel Networks Ltd., Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., TIA said in a statement.

A second trade delegation, comprised of U.S. microelectronics companies and led by Michelle O’Neill, deputy assistant secretary for information technology industries at DOC, will head to Shanghai from March 10-14, according to industry group Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).

The microelectronics trade mission, which will include up to 20 companies, is being timed to coincide with two trade shows set to be held in Shanghai during March, electronicChina 2003 and SEMICON China 2003, according to industry group Electronics Representatives Association, which is organizing the microelectronics trade mission with DOC.

In addition, the trade mission will meet with officials at Shanghai’s Zhangjiang High Tech Park, which is home to several of Shanghai’s new chip fabrication plants, and the Jin Qiao Industrial Processing Zone. It will also visit the Shanghai-based operations of semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials Inc., Intel and Chinese contract chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), according to SEMI, which organizes the SEMICON China show.