Help wanted: Shanghai Disneyland seeks a Communist Party specialist

Party planner.
Party planner.
Image: Reuters/Aly Song
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Chinese Communist Party membership can get you a job at one of the world’s most popular theme parks.

Shanghai Disneyland already benefits from having CCP members among its staff. Murray King, VP of public affairs, told the local Jiefang Daily (link in Chinese) last summer that the park’s best employees were mostly party members, though the company faced no requirement to hire any.

Now the park is recruiting a senior specialist for its “Party/Union/Youth League Office,” according to a job listing on its website. Among the role’s responsibilities are designing and coordinating party and union activities, operating the party and union bulletin board, and maintaining daily operation of social media platforms. CCP membership is one of the job requirements.

In China it’s long been common for state-owned companies and universities to have internal CCP branches educating workers about party doctrine. But in recent years the CCP has been pushing for more foreign organizations and local internet giants to host such branches, as well, partly as a way to tighten control over corporate governance. CCP signage and educational materials have become more common at foreign companies, reported the Wall Street Journal in October (paywall). Last year, for instance, L’Oréal placed signs featuring the party’s hammer-and-sickle emblem in its Shanghai cafeteria, and the carmaker Renault started providing lectures about the CCP for its foreign employees.

In October, Qi Yu, vice minister of a department that manages party staffing, claimed that foreign companies have shown an overall positive attitude (link in Chinese) toward having CCP branches inside the firm. Qi said that by the end of 2016, 70% of the 106,000 firms with foreign investments had established such a branch.

In November, however, the German chamber of commerce in China expressed concern about the trend, noting in a statement, “We do not believe that foreign invested companies generally should be required to promote the development of any political party within company structures.”

Shanghai Disney Resort has not yet replied to questions from Quartz.