Credit: Imaginechina via AP Images As China’s once soaring growth rates continue to decline, calls for reforms that would make it easier for people to move to cities and possibly boost the economy have grown louder. This month, one of the country’s richest provinces has heeded those calls — at least in part. On July 22, Zhejiang’s local government officially lifted ‘hukou’ housing registration requirements for at least the next five years, granting millions of rural residents the right to move freely to urban centers across the province and — crucially — gain full access to government-run health and education services for the first time. The measure is China’s latest experiment in reforming one of the world’s most restrictive housing policies. The hukou system effectively makes 886 million rural and ‘floating’ Chinese residents second-class citizens compared with urban dwellers who — by virtue of being born in cities and granted urban housing permits — have access to bSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.