(Beijing) Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will be received by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday, on his first trip to the country in more than three years, state television CCTV said.

Such a meeting is very rare for an American businessman, only a handful have been received individually by Mr. Xi, including Apple boss Tim Cook and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.

Arrived Wednesday evening in the Chinese capital, the American billionaire said he was coming to meet partners of the Bill Foundation.

His foundation announced Thursday that it would donate $50 million to support Chinese efforts to fight malaria and tuberculosis.

It will also renew its cooperation with the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) — founded in Beijing by Bill Gates — Beijing municipal authorities and officials from the prestigious Tsinghua University.

“China has made tremendous progress in reducing poverty and improving health in the country,” Gates said Thursday during a speech at GHDDI.

“I hope China can play an even greater role in addressing current challenges, especially those facing African countries,” he added.

Mr. Musk had notably met with government officials and visited the huge factory of his brand of electric cars in Shanghai, where he was able to interact with staff.

JPMorgan Chase bank CEO Jamie Dimon, another major player, visited the country earlier this month, while Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Beijing in March. He praised his company’s “symbiotic” relationship with China.

Other big American bosses like that of Starbucks or General Motors have also gone to China in recent weeks to meet with representatives of the Chinese government.

Business travel has picked up since China abandoned its so-called “zero COVID-19” health policy and reopened its borders this year.