They are the founders of the giants Baidu, NetEase and Sogou. The body is in charge of formalizing the decisions already taken by the Chinese Communist Party. Enter two anti-Covid-19 experts criticized on the Internet. Hu Chunhua, previously a candidate for prime minister, could become one of the conference’s vice presidents.
Beijing () – Three heavyweights of the Chinese high-tech industry are leaving the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CCPPC), a body that, together with the much more important National People’s Congress, is called upon to formalize the decisions already taken by President Xi Jinping and the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The names of Robin Li Yanhong, William Ding Lei, and Wang Xiaochuan are missing from the new member list, released on January 18. The first is the founder and CEO of Baidu (the Chinese Google), a company that is also dedicated to artificial intelligence. Ding, for his part, is the founder and head of NetEase, the second largest Chinese video game industry, while Wang is the creator of the Sogou Internet search engine, the most important after Baidu.
Made up of 2,172 delegates, the new CCPPC will meet for the first time in March at the same time as the PNA in the “two sessions” (Lianghui), when the appointments to lead the country during Xi’s third term in power will be made official. .
In practice, the members of the Conference are chosen by the Party from various fields, including religion. The basic selection criteria is loyalty and competence. The departure of the three main businessmen in the technology sector could be explained by Xi’s lack of confidence in them. For more than two years, the Chinese leader has been campaigning to contain the monopoly power of the large high-tech groups, which in theory could represent a power contrary to the Party.
Instead, two experts in the fight against Covid-19 found a place in the renewed CCPPC: the infectologist Zhang Wenhong and the epidemiologist Wu Zunyou. The appointment is striking because the two scientists are often criticized online for their handling of the pandemic emergency, but it also explains how political loyalty and reliability count in China’s power dynamics.
In all likelihood, the new head of the CCPPC will be Wang Huning, an ally of Xi and number four on the Politburo Standing Committee, the Party’s decision-making body. One of Wang’s deputies could be outgoing Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, a member of the Communist Youth, a faction opposed to Xi. Hu, a candidate for the post of prime minister on the eve of the 20th Party Congress in October, was not even included among the 24 members of the Politburo, the second most important body of the CPC.