MGM CEO Hornbuckle Joins Corporate Titans in Exclusive Meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping

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In the bustling heart of Beijing on a recent Wednesday, an elite group of America’s top executives convened for an exclusive meeting with President Xi Jinping of China, among them, Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International. Noted for his leadership in the fast-paced world of gaming and entertainment, Hornbuckle’s participation makes him a standout figure, the only executive representing this specific industry in the power-packed room.

In the select group of twenty titan-level business leaders eager to sit at the sprawling table with President Xi were, notably, Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group; Evan Greenberg, CEO of Chubb; Raj Subramaniam, the FedEx Chairman and CEO; and Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm. Adding to the influential mix were Stephen Orlins, President of the National Committee on US-China Relations, and Craig Allen, President of the US-China Business Council, each offering their individual powerhouse influence.

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During the extensive 90-minute meeting, President Xi assured the American attendees of China’s unwavering commitment to progress, emphasising, “China’s reforms will not stall, and our opening up will not stop. China’s development, having overcome various difficulties and challenges, has not collapsed…in the past, nor will it ‘peak’ now.”

The presence of Hornbuckle in this important meeting is indicative of MGM’s significant stakes in China, a nation boasting the world’s second-largest economy, just one stride behind the U.S. The Las Vegas-based MGM, known for its dazzling lights and round-the-clock communal energy, is the overriding owner of MGM China, an entity that conducts operations for two integrated resorts in Macau.

Materializing its powerful presence, MGM China has been steadily carving out a larger market share in Macau, the singular Chinese region where betting is deemed legal. This progress carries an insinuation of crucial ties with Beijing. As one of the three US-based Macau concessionaires, the importance of MGM’s place in the region’s economic landscape is undeniable.

Beyond pure gaming, MGM has spread its wings into hospitality in mainland China. By joining forces with Diaoyutai MGM Hospitality, it operates a series of non-gaming hotels and residences under brand names that include Bellagio by MGM, MGM, and Mirage by MGM.

Fueling further speculation about MGM’s ambitious endeavors, Chinese social media platforms have been humming with chatter that plans are being fine-tuned to inaugurate a new Shanghai hotel in 2027 under the Mirage by MGM brand. This undertaking would mark the third hotel in the city for Diaoyutai MGM Hospitality.

In the light of the often frosty climate of US-China relations, this meeting can be perceived as a thawing gesture. As a multitude of US multinational corporations rely on China as a primary source of earnings and revenue, friendly relations with Beijing are of paramount importance.

“China-US relations is a chronicle of friendly interactions between the peoples of the two countries,” President Xi pointed out, urging individuals across all sectors to engage, communicate, and cooperate more.

MGM, with its glittering presence on the Las Vegas Strip, certainly needs to heed Xi’s words. Mandarin-speaking visitors are critical to the international traffic at MGM properties and their high-end venues, like Bellagio and Cosmopolitan. As such, strong bonds with Chinese leadership are nothing short of pivotal for MGM’s continued success.