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In Guangzhou, staying single has its benefits


1:30 pm
May 13, 2010



posts 215

Tens of thousands of residents in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong
Province may have to remain single or delay marriage unless they do not
mind giving up government-subsidized housing or other social benefits.

The problem involves migrants who obtained permanent residency status
through a scheme called collective household registration. It is
obtained through government-approved agencies and it's different from
the more sought after individual household registration, or hukou, the
Guangzhou Daily reported Wednesday.

The collective residents usually have a stable job, regular residence
and a bachelor's degree and are allowed to live and work in the city.
However, the benefits are not as good as individual hukou holders and
they are not granted any rights to have a baby.

The issue became a public topic after an Internet user complained he
could not get married with the household registration system.

If he returns to his permanently registered hometown to get married,
he would lose the collective registration status and all the local
benefits. He could still be allowed to work in the city as a regular
migrant worker with almost no benefits.

His other option is to obtain individual hukou through buying a home
in Guangzhou.

He decided to postpone his plan because he cannot afford a house.

Perhaps the most striking thing collective household registration
holders gives up is the right to have children in Guangzhou, the
newspaper said.

"The city's government does not issue any birth quotas to the
collective residents, which allow couples to have kids under national
family planning policy, and therefore it is hard for the agencies to
manage so many people who might have kids someday," a staff member
surnamed Li of a human resources agency told the Global Times Wednesday.

There are no official figures on the number of collective residents
in Guangzhou, but some estimated the number is higher than 100,000,
Southern Daily reported earlier.


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