Local/Global Encounters


, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 76-82

First online:

Chinese Women Migrants and the Social Apartheid

  • Au Loong-Yu
  • , Nan Shan

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Au Loong-yu and Nan Shan examine the conditions of the women among the 150 million migrant workers who have left the rural areas in search of jobs in China. They underline that fierce social regression has accompanied Chinese enormous economic growth where women migrants particularly are exploited in ‘the ‘world's greatest sweatshop’. They argue that hukou system or household registration has proved to be as useful to ‘capitalist construction’ as it once was for ‘socialist construction’. It now acts a powerful force for pressing down the wages of rural migrants and preventing them from getting better jobs in the cities.


hukou export trade zones state sector resistance social divisions