‘What is China?’ Huge disparity between rural areas and cities
Updated 10:32, 28-Jun-2018
By CGTN’s Han Bin
In China, crowds of rural migrants have flowed to big cities like Shanghai for more chances. But decades of economic growth have created both great wealth and great disparity.
Migrant worker Ma Yunqi scrimps to rent a small room on the edge of a town in Shanghai. Mei Yang can buy a luxurious property abroad. When we talk about China’s development, migrant workers - the cheap labor force that has been fueling that growth - sometimes seem like an afterthought. 
Ma Yunqi, a migrant worker in Shanghai, China. /CGTN Photo‍

Ma Yunqi, a migrant worker in Shanghai, China. /CGTN Photo‍

Our story of one migrant worker is typical of their situation. In the United States, people can freely move from one place to another to live and work. In China, things operate differently. Every citizen is registered for a particular area, in what is called the Hukou system. 
Most migrant workers can’t become official residents of the city they work in. They and their families cannot get access to government-provided health or education from areas outside their household registration zone. And once the work contract ends, they must return home. 
Yes, their incomes are improving, but many can’t see improved chances for a better life.
Meet migrant workers and realtors as our new “What is China?” episode explores wealth and disparity generated by decades of China's growth.