Migrant workers

Yunnan will NOT abolish 'hukou' system

An earlier post on Danwei suggested that Yunnan Province was about to abolish the 'hukou' system, which is a relic old Chinese economy based on work units and local registrations that made casual migration almost impossible.

While the Chinese economy since the 1990s has been driven by the work of migrant laborers, the government probably fears that relaxing the hukou system completely -- or too quickly -- might result in cities swamped by poor migrant peasants.

And while the hukou system can prevent people from getting ahead because they cannot gain access to municipal services without a local hukou, or are simply booted out of cities unceremoniously, it also the administrative tool that China uses to allocate schooling, economy housing and other social benefits: it is not easy to reform the system.

So reports that Yunnan was abolishing the hukou system seem like a big deal.

However, it seems a little early to get excited, according to a post on Chinese Law and Politics Blog:

Is Yunnan "Eliminating" the Hukou System?

Short answer – no.

To find out why the announced reforms may mean very little, read the whole post, linked above.

There are currently 2 Comments for Yunnan will NOT abolish 'hukou' system.

Comments on Yunnan will NOT abolish 'hukou' system

Isn't the point of retaining the hukou system limiting social services to a select few?

After reading your original post on this issue I asked why Xinhua's English-language service hadn't written a story on the Yunnan reforms. It was basically because they felt there was nothing new in them - it is the 13th province to announce these changes. But seeing as the picture is clouded to say the least, I suggested they produce something this coming week clarifying the key points and speaking to a couple of law professors. We'll see if anything else comes up that hasn't already been covered by Chinese Law and Politics blog..

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