Hi-tech firms increasingly setting up CPC committees

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/9 19:18:39

Two women in costumes pose in front of the camera during a douyu.com carnival event held in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province, on May 29, 2017. Photo: IC

Bike-sharing firm Ofo recently established its own Communist Party of China (CPC) committee and held its first meeting for its Party member employees, a significant move that shows that Party units are now represented in the country's cutting-edge economic fields.

Ofo currently has 167 Party members and CEO Dai Wei heads up their CPC committee, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times on July 6.

Besides Ofo, live streaming website douyu.com established a Party branch days ago composed of 18 of its online hosts based in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, making it the first of China's 500 live streaming platforms to do so, the Changjiang Daily reported.

Zhang Zhihong, a senior official at the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), said that the establishment of CPC branches in innovative technology companies has closely connected Party construction efforts with the sectors which represent the direction China's economy will take in the future, according to the MST's website.

There were 89.45 million CPC members by the end of 2016, a year on year increase of 688,000, according to data from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Boom in new sector

The five founders of Ofo, including Dai, joined the CPC while at university. With the rapid growth of both the company and the number of CPC members it employs, Ofo decided to establish a CPC committee in order to strengthen the cohesion of their team, read Ofo's statement.

"What Ofo has achieved so far is based on the CPC and the government's policy guidance and support of Internet companies and entrepreneurship, which is beneficial to the healthy development of enterprises," Ofo's statement read, adding that establishing CPC committees can help private enterprises connect with the country's development strategies more effectively and reinforce their soft power.

The number of CPC members working for Douyu has grown from 65 last May to 178, accounting for 10 percent of its work force.

With 100 million registered users, Douyu is attempting to build an "upright and clean" cyberspace through the establishment of its CPC branch, the Changjiang Daily reported. Some 400 million netizens, half of China's total internet users, have signed up to at least one of China's 500 live streaming platforms.

Douyu broadcast shows about the good deeds of "outstanding" CPC members, singing contests featuring "red songs" and tours of revolutionaries' former residences to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the CPC's founding on July 1. In the past year or so, many Internet firms have set up Party branches.

The Suning Commerce Group, an online-to-offline home appliance company, has hired nearly 8,000 Party members since it set up its CPC committee in 2003, according to information the company provided to the Global Times earlier. Chinese tech firm Xiaomi also reportedly launched its own CPC committee in June 2015.

Hands off the operation

"High-technology and the new economy is China's development trend of advanced productive forces, which is required to be represented by the CPC according to 'The Three Represents,' coded into the Party Constitution," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Chongqing Committee, told the Global Times. "The Three Represents," put forward by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin in 2000 "require the CPC to represent the orientation of the advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people," according to the Xinhua News Agency.

In recent years, more grass-roots Party units have appeared in private companies, especially innovative high-tech firms, which ensures that these organizations will be kept on the correct political track as stated in the CPC Constitution, Su said.

According to the CPC Constitution, Party committees should be established in any organization including privately-owned companies in China that have more than three Party members. 

"However, some foreign companies seeking cooperation with Chinese private firms have expressed concern that these firms would be controlled by the CPC once Party branches appear, and thus would have second thoughts on working with them," Su said.

Newspaper headline: Committed to the Party

Posted in: SOCIETY

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