reform of the housing registration, or hukou system, has been under way
in most regions in China following the State Council’s call to establish
a unified household registration system for urban and rural residents in
a document issued in 2014.
To date, 29 province-level regions,apart from Beijing and the Tibet
autonomous region,have unveiled official plans on the reform of the
housing registration system, according to China News Service. The plans
have in general phased out the so-called urban and rural hukou and
replaced them with more general terms such as residential hukou, family
hukou, or collective hukou.
In mega cities such as Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan and Xi’an, point-based
hukou policies are prevalent. The policies, despite their variance in
different places, generally take into account the factors of the
legitimacy of a person’s job and residence, insurance and a fixed number
of years he or she has lived in the city.
According to the proposals of the State Council, China should fully
liberalize household registration in townships and small cities. Some
provinces have adopted more relaxed measures. Southwest China’s Sichuan
province, for instance, extends the application of this policy to big
and midsized cities. Guizhou, also in Southwest China, plans to remove
the hukou restrictions in midsized cities, as well as in townships and
Central China’s Henan province, for instance, requires two years of
payment for the most, while East China’s Anhui province, requires a
maximum three years of such payment. The Inner Mongolia autonomous
region scrapped the requirements on social security payment for Hohhot
and Baotou cities to relax local hukou access.