Migrant Workers’ Struggle: Financial Exclusion

The financial exclusion of China’s 250 million-strong migrant worker population has resulted in a largely cash-based economy, with many workers lacking basic means to save, make credit purchases, protect their homes with insurance, or send and receive money. Many of these workers rely on informal service providers, such as friends, family, and middlemen, to store and move money for them. However, this can lead to exploitation and a lack of reliable channels for redress when issues arise. The Chinese government has acknowledged the wealth gap and the urgency of resolving income inequality, but financial exclusion still persists. New technology and mobile-based remittance systems could offer promising solutions, but they must embrace informality and complement existing informal services.

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