Inkstone Explains: Who are the 92 million Chinese Communist Party members?

Inkstone Explains: Who are the 92 million Chinese Communist Party members?

  • The Chinese Communist Party has more members than the population of Germany.
  • Many have joined the party for better career prospects rather than because of a belief in communism.

US media outlets have reported that the White House was considering no longer granting visas to Chinese Communist Party members and their families.

The nearly 92 million members of the party are often blamed for supporting the suppressive policies of its leadership. Now they are increasingly caught up in the tensions between Beijing and other governments. 

Who are the Communist Party’s members?

The Communist Party of China had 91.9 million members by the end of 2019, accounting for 6% of China’s population. (If the party were a country, it would be the 16th most populous in the world.)

Despite the party calling itself a vanguard of the working class, its members represent an elite group of the Chinese population: they are wealthier, better educated and more likely to be male than the average citizen. 

Across different industries, many of the top performers are Communist Party members, such as Alibaba founder Jack Ma, leading infectious diseases expert Zhong Nanshan and former Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang. (Alibaba owns Inkstone.)

According to the party’s annual report on membership demographics, 72.1% of members at the end of 2019 were men. Two-thirds of the membership were aged 40 or older.