Indeed, the House report found that the "Communist Party committees" within Huawei and ZTE cast " a shadow source of power and influence" over both. In fact, such committees are present in most large foreign companies' China branches. As @leo_力 tweeted, "IBM has Communist Party committees in China too." A photo dated June 2011, courtesy of FESCO ( Foreign Enterprise Human Resources Service Co.), the state-mandated labor management agency for foreign enterprises in China, appears to bolster this assertion.
Chinese media have named other companies, including brands as diverse as Carrefour, Standard Chartered Bank, Nokia Siemens, Hyundai, and Canon among those that have formed Communist Party committees in their China operations, some dating back to the 1990′s. In theory, every company with more than three Communist Party members is required to have a Party committee. This article from Southern Weekly, a Chinese newspaper, quotes an American executive who wondered, "We have three Republicans. Can we apply to form a 'Republican Party Committee'?" And this fascinating article from Global Times points out that as of August 2012, 486 Party branches have been set up in foreign enterprises based in Shanghai alone, consisting of about 10,000 Party members.
Foreign corporations seem to have come around to the notion that having a "party committee" is necessary to navigate China's highly political business environment. According to the same report in Southern Weekly, Nokia Siemens' Shanghai branch secured a government subsidy of more than RMB10 million (approximately US$1.7 million) through the efforts of its executive vice president and Communist Party secretary, Huang Junjian.
If foreign companies in China are increasingly hip to the need to cozy with Communists, Chinese citizens are increasingly aware of their power as consumers. With few near-term policy options available to China's government to respond to Huawei and ZTE's setback, Web users quickly circulated calls for Chinese consumers to "boycott Apple," and even American-made goods in general. Many others exhorted the Chinese government to investigate whether Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, and other American corporations with footprints in China posed risks to Chinese national security. Editor Hu Xijin (@ 胡锡进) of the hard-line Global Times published an editorial reflecting online opinion, one that "calls for China to take protection of its corporations seriously and not be afraid to take revenge against such actions. China has to make America and Europe understand that if Chinese companies encounter injustice on their turf, some of their companies will become scapegoats in China."
Web users seemed aware of the difficulty of putting such rhetoric into practice. @痒痒挠73 observed, "Many of the key systems and servers in Chinese banks are from IBM. Without IBM, domestic banks won't have a way to open accounts." Consumers may not have a choice, either. As @艾泽拉斯的银叶草 wrote, "Right now the only [mobile] operating systems are Apple and Android, and they're both American."