Foreign companies in China get a new partner: the Chinese Communist Party

Foreign companies in China get a new partner: the Chinese Communist Party, by Chun Han Wong.

The 300 or so Communist Party members who work at Walt Disney Co.’s theme park in China don’t keep their politics to themselves.

Many attend party lectures during business hours and display hammer-and-sickle insignia at their desks. Company newsletters and state media praise them as exemplary workers. Party officials help manage staff welfare and arrange activities such as political seminars for members and singing contests for all employees. …

The compromises made by Western firms to do business in China are becoming increasingly uncomfortable now that President Xi Jinping is pushing to embed the Communist Party deeper into the world’s second-largest economy.

Mr Xi emerged from a recent party congress with five more years as leader and power comparable with that of Chairman Mao Zedong. One of his top priorities is to restore the party as a force in people’s lives and recapture its revolutionary sense of mission. …

The intrusion of politics into the workplace adds to the challenges faced by foreign businesses in China, including intellectual-property theft and sharper competition from local firms.

hat-tip Stephen Neil