France's president heads to Silicon Valley, after string of French tussles with tech companies

France's president is heading to Silicon Valley, days after a French regulator hit Google with an embarrassing regulatory slap and after years of French efforts to wrest more taxes from tech companies.

Francois Hollande holds up the U.S. tech industry as an economic success that he hopes to replicate at home. But he's also been among the leaders of Europe's fight to prevent what the continent sees as a systematic attempt by tech firms to invade privacy and avoid paying their corporate fair share.

The French leader was set to meet with tech kingpins including Google's Eric Schmidt, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Twitter's Jack Dorsey.

The West Coast swing Wednesday is part of Hollande's three-day state visit that included a gala dinner with President Barack Obama on Tuesday.