A Communist Party branch has been set up in Wal-Mart in the northeastern city of Shenyang, Reuters reported, citing state media. The move comes soon after the giant retailer gave way to a state-backed campaign to establish labor unions in its China stores. It wasn't revealed how many of the 700 employees at the Shenyang outlet had applied to join the party. Party committees are compulsory in state-owned enterprises – offering everything from political education campaigns to assistance with human resources issues – and the government has said that all firms of a reasonable size should have them. However, party branches are still a rarity in foreign firms and, if they do exist, they are a largely ceremonial presence. Wal-Mart has a total of 32,000 employees in China with 60 stores in 30 cities.