Communist Party is giving more power to members working in Beijing internet companies
Thursday afternoon, Sina Weibo users began to buzz around a new face on the platform - a 'verified' microblog account claiming to represent all Party members at Sina Corp.
In its first - and, for the moment, only - post, the 'Sina.com Party Committee' account encourages Party members at the company to send feedback its way, describing this as the Communist Party's way to help resolve any problems its members encounter, presumably those encountered online.
It then lists around a dozen names of Communist Party members at Sina to help get the reports rolling in.
"Isn't this just great," reads the most recent of the 9 comments left on the post, "Party branches being set up in every single corner."
The Communist Party first began organising its members within Sina in 1998, but only established its first Party committee in late 2010 through its existing seven Party branches across different parts of the company.
A Party Secretary appointed to a private company, technically, retains ultimate authority.
The post has been 'retweeted' nearly 8,000 times, but comments were apparently closed quite early. Just over 5,000 users have followed the account since it appeared.
According to Southern Metropolis Daily today, the Sina Corp Party Committee currently has 283 members with an average age of 26.6. Of those, the newspaper reports, 168, or 59.4 per cent, are women.
Behind all this is a story about a conference held in Beijing in November last year to mark the creation of a Communist Party committee within the Internet Society of China, which oversees internet regulation and certain online censorship campaigns.
At the conference, writes Southern Metropolis Daily, it was announced that efforts - which involve the Beijing Municipal Network Management Department, one of the city's main internet censorship bodies - had begun the previous month to vastly expand the Party's presence within privately-owned Beijing-based internet companies.
According to Southern Metropolis Daily, the next two companies set to get their own Communist Party committees are Sohu and NetEase.