While it is true that the Chinese state no longer runs everything directly, it does use the West and its economic mechanisms to perpetuate itself and pursue its goals. The private sector is not as private and free as it seems. Big companies, like computer maker Lenovo or car manufacturer Geely, freely drink deeply from the government money trough. In every major industry, the party is well represented and worker cells are firmly established. Some firm owners are even heads of their local branch’s Communist Party inside their companies.
In their book, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge claim that “the party holds meetings that shadow formal board meetings and often trump their decisions, particularly on staff appointments.”