In the midst of a yearlong trade dispute between the United States (U.S) and one of the world's most reclusive and guarded countries in terms of allowing foreign organizations into its infrastructure, it seems improbable that now would be the right time for China to welcome outside tech firms into its cloud computing market, right? Despite the logic in this statement, it appears that China is willing to compromise on this front as part of a new round of dealmaking with the U.S. regarding access to the Asian powerhouse's tech sector.

Specifically, Lingling Wei of The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin arrived in Beijing last week to begin hammering out the details of this deal, which is set to allow trial operations of foreign cloud service providers in the previously closed Chinese cloud computing market. From here, this week should see a continuation of the negotiations as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He returns the favor with a visit to Washington.

As for how this could impact the automotive industry, the answer is two-fold. First, BMW AG and Daimler AG are among the nearly three dozen organizations currently on the slate to test foreign cloud computing in Beijing, which provides a direct link between two of the biggest players in the automotive world and this Chinese cloud computing pilot program.

Second, looking at things from a big picture perspective, relaxing restrictions on foreign operations in the cloud computing market ensures that the flow of data between western organizations and China shifts from its current setup as a one-way street and evolves into an open channel that benefits organizations on both sides of the conversation.

In other words, allowing companies like Daimler and BMW into the cloud computing sector could be the first step toward the western automotive industry tapping into the power of the Chinese market and leveraging its vast audience and repositories of data to refine everything from the development of self-driving vehicles and traditional vehicle engineering to automotive app creation and the development of digital infrastructure for automakers abroad.

Will this round of trade talks between the U.S. and China regarding the opening of the cloud computing sector be the key to new growth in the automotive world? What other changes could be in store for the digital world in the wake of a successful test program on this front?

To dig into these questions, and learn even more about this developing story, be sure to dig into the full scoop from Wei and The Wall Street Journal by clicking on the link down below.

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