《漫话十九大》Episode12: ​What is the CPC national hotline?

The CPC is a huge organization, with nearly 90 million members and a structure that spans from the local grassroots to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to navigate, so if you’ve got an urgent question about the Party, where do you find the answer?

Dial 12371! The hotline was launched in 2009 by the Party to help it better engage with its members and deal with queries – from CPC policy to membership.

12371, what’s the significance?

Well, 123 is the prefix for official use in China and 71 represents July 1, the date the CPC was founded in 1921.

Hotlines using the 123 prefix are quite common. If you have a tip for the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, call 12388.

So, why might someone use the hotline? 

Anyone can call the number to find out more about Party theory and policy; membership applications, fees and how they are used; and Party members' rights and obligations.

For example, a member might want to check how their fees are calculated. It’s a percentage of salary at different thresholds for people in work, but for students or the unemployed just 0.20 yuan ( 3 US cents) per month.

The hotline is also used to gather opinions and feedback from Party members, feeding into the policymaking process.

China’s a digital savvy society, aren’t there online options?

Yes! There are plenty of options for China’s 731 million Internet users. The 12371 hotline is really a kind of brand: under its umbrella there is also a mobile newsletter, SMS platform, and www.12371.cn, a website filled with useful information.

And the next step is incorporating artificial intelligence to make a “smart” Party. Big data will never replace human-to-human management, but it could act as a useful tool to inform the decision-making process in the future.

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