China’s Industrial Branding

Enter the Rexroth factory in China and you might see banners announcing Saturday study sessions for the Communist Party. A law in China says that any business employing three or more members of the Communist Party must set up a party cell. Like Young Democrats or Young Republicans on campuses in the U.S., these groups generally hold study sessions and recreational meetings. They collect dues, too.

American companies don’t usually have a Young Republicans group or a League of Democratic Women chapter. U.S. companies used to have bowling leagues and an office might still have a fantasy football group, but organized groups of this kind are becoming more rare not just in factories but across the nation.

But German companies often have clubs. Both Bayer and Volkswagen own professional soccer teams which started out as office soccer leagues. Community clubs are extremely popular in Germany — half of Germans belong to a club of one kind or another, whether it’s a chess club or a knitting circle or a rabbit- breeder’s group. Some observers suggest that German politics benefits from the habits of democratic behavior learned in clubs. People follow rules, speak their minds, and accept the vote once it’s taken.

This might make it easier for Rexroth to accept the Communist Party cell idea than for the average American company. Foreign-owned companies are fairly new in China, and some are uncomfortable with the idea of having official Party groups in their factories.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Rexroth says its associates in China are free to ‘follow their diverse interests,’ including party activities.”

Rexroth opened an Industry 4.0 Innovation Center in China last year. Rexroth’s global influence in motion control goes beyond local politics. As specialists in Rexroth electric motion control systems, we are proud to be an American service partner. When we provide phone support, field support, or factory repair and reman for your Rexroth machinery, you can feel confident that the work is being done in the United States. You’ll talk with an expert when you call, not with a call center. Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance.

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