Private sector Party committees start to bloom

By Zhang Ye Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/1 0:03:00

Reflects CPC’s engagement with the public, propels company’s growth

Members of Suning's Party committee celebrate the CPC's 95th anniversary inside company headquarters on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy of Suning

On the desks of a crowded workplace of Le Holdings, a rising Beijing-based Internet company, sits an eye-catching red flag with crossed golden hammer and sickle in the canton.

Such a flag is used to identify member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the private company.

"Every year, we would recruit two to four outstanding employees into the Party as provided by the Party Constitution," He Jinsong, deputy Party chief of Le Holdings and the vice president of the company, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Le Holdings, which has recently been beefing up efforts in smart devices, driverless cars and cloud computing, set up its Party committee in June 2014, consisting of three branches.

Among China's Internet companies, Le Holdings is not the first and will not be the last to have its own Party committee, raising eyebrows among people expecting less State involvement in the fast-growing and innovative technology sector. He noted that in Beijing's Internet sector alone, there are more than 30 Party committees.

Suning Commerce Group, an online-to-offline home appliance company based in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, has nearly 8,000 Party-member employees since the group set up a Party committee in 2003, according to information the company provided the Global Times on Thursday.

Xiaomi reportedly launched its own CPC committee in June 2015.

The country's second largest online retailer Inc established its committee in 2011, which boasts of 1,244 CPC members from 55 Party branches, JD's Party chief Long Baozheng, told the Global Times Thursday.

Many of them had joined the Party when they were still in college, a cradle of cultivating a new generation of CPC members, said Long.

In 2015, China's colleges and universities recruited 718,000 into the Party, accounting for 36.5 percent of new members, according to data released by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee on Thursday.

The Party's Constitution mandates the establishment of a Party committee in any organization, including privately owned firms in China, that has more than three full Party members.

He credited the building of a Party organization to the increasing number of CPC members along with the company's rapid development.

Among Le Holdings' 13,000 employees, more than 300 have joined the Party from over 100 when the committee was first established, He noted.

Both Long and He said their companies' top executives  attach great importance to the development of the Party committee.

The private sector Party committees are more than a reflection of the CPC's engagement with the public; it's also expected to help propel the companies' growth.

"The committee does not meddle in the company's operations, but it is important" because it ensures the enforcement of government policies, said He.

Le Holdings' Party committee usually holds regular meetings on measures and regulations issued by both the ruling Party and central government. After being briefed on the Internet business' targets, Party-member employees can set a good example for others and help the company establish order and discipline, said He.

"I think it is not easy to carry out Party activities in Internet firms and private companies in other fields" since CPC membership or actively participating in committee activities are not directly linked to a career growth and higher salaries, he said.

The JD's Party committee secretary noted that they adopt different methods, using Internet technology to stimulate Party-member employees' interest and initiatives in participating in Party activities.

JD opened an online communication platform and launched a monthly online quiz on the Party Constitution and the remarks of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, as tools to educate CPC members.

The JD Party committee has also formed a special team to encourage e-commerce in rural areas, which Long said is in line with the State Council's poverty alleviation campaign.

The Party committee usually makes it easier for the company to reach out to local governments, said Long.

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