PM touches base with the chiefs of US tech giants

PM touches base with the chiefs of US tech giants
PM Lee with Apple CEO Tim Cook

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met the chiefs of tech companies and tried out some cool technology on his second day in Silicon Valley.

He met Mr Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, and Mr Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook.

"Met Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Tim Cook (Apple) today to find out what new things they are doing, and how their technologies can help our Smart Nation journey," wrote Mr Lee on his Facebook page on Friday (California time).

At the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Mr Zuckerberg gave Mr Lee a cube that was etched with photos from Mr Lee's Facebook page as well as lines from a computer programme the Prime Minister wrote, to recognise his technical skills.

"The Prime Minister is one of the only world leaders who knows how to code," wrote Mr Zuckerberg on his Facebook page, adding: "Coding can be useful - no matter what your job is!"

Mr Lee also had lunch with the heads of other technology firms with a presence in Singapore, namely Mr Dan Schulman of PayPal, Mr Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm and Mr Gary Dickerson of Applied Materials.

During his visit to Facebook, Mr Lee tried out a virtual reality headset in an Oculus Toybox demo.

Oculus VR, a virtual reality technology company, was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

Mr Lee also met Singaporeans working in the social media company.

"Met Singaporeans working in Facebook. What do they miss about Singapore? Our food!" he said.

Besides sharing photos of his day, Mr Lee also posted a 360 video of his stroll in Facebook's rooftop garden. Viewers can get a 360-degree view of where a video was taken by clicking and dragging on the screen of their computer, or by tilting their smartphones.

Currently on a week-long working trip to the United States, Mr Lee on Thursday met Alphabet and Google chiefs Eric Schmidt and Sundar Pichai respectively, and Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk.

He took a spin in a Google self-driving car and in a Tesla electric car.

He will head for the Sunnylands estate, also in California, for a special ASEAN-US summit hosted by US President Barack Obama on Monday and Tuesday (California time).

This article was first published on February 14, 2016.
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