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Duowei News: The Political Danger of Pushing Companies to Establish Communist Party Branches

Duowei News, a pro-Beijing media, published an article commenting on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) push for all companies in China to establish party branches. Recently, the CCP published “The Regulations on the Party Branch Work of the CCP (Trial Version).” It required that all businesses (including privately owned and foreign companies), executive offices, social organizations, neighborhood communities, schools, research institutions, and military units must establish party branches.

The article commented that, last year, there was some talk of “eliminating private ownership” in China. Also, China’s economy is sliding downhill, creating a tough environment for mid-level and small privately-owned companies. The South China Morning Post suggested that, for recent private companies, establishing a party branch and company owners’ joining the CCP do not reflect political loyalty but rather the companies’ attempt at self-protection by reducing political risk and showing good will to the authorities.

The article also mentioned that, since 2012, Beijing has carried out a campaign to establish party branches (in all companies in China). Many foreign companies, such as Nokia, Carrefour, Wal-Mart, Standard Chartered Bank (China), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Beijing Hyundai, and Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell Co., all established a party branch. According to the CCP Central Organization Department, by end of 2016, 70 percent of foreign companies in China had a party branch.

The article pointed out that, since the start of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Beijing has faced an extremely challenging task trying to attract foreign investment and restore private companies’ economic vitality. Imposing party branch requirements may have caused more negative publicity and resulted in reduced confidence in doing business in China.

Source: Duowei News, January 28, 2019