For some Chinese, urbanisation is not a ticket to the middle class

Research has shown that China’s increasing number of urbanites is largely made up of impoverished labourers from the countryside who move to the city for low-pay factory and service jobs.

The University of Washington study identifies a Mao-era system called “hukou” that has created a two-tier system of social benefits dividing the rural and urban classes.

One-third of Chinese city dwellers have rural hukou status, making them ineligible for basic social welfare such as unemployment and retirement benefits, and restricting their access to employment and education.

Read more at University of Washington