Foreign companies in China have welcomed the ruling Communist Party to set up cells in their firms, a senior official said on Thursday, though some executives have expressed concern about the party’s growing role in their operations. The presence of party units has long been a fact of doing business in China, where the law requires companies, including foreign firms, to set up a party organization. Many executives had long seen the measure as symbolic. But as President Xi Jinping’s efforts to strengthen the party’s role throughout society have reached the local operations of foreign companies, some executives told Reuters earlier this year that they were concerned about the resulting demands they face. Party cells in foreign firms were well-received as a way of helping them understand Chinese policies and resolving disputes, Qi Yu, a deputy head of the Communist Party’s Organization Department, told a news briefing on the sidelines of a key twice-a-decade party congress in Beijing.
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