How Workday manages China's Hukou information

What Is Hukou?

On behalf of the Chinese government, organisations are legally required to track certain personal details about their Chinese employees.

This information is known as Hukou, which can be understood as an internal passport system, which recognises identity and allows the government to control and regulate internal migration.

China uses the Hukou system to:

  • Register its residents – Hukou reporting provides information about China’s populace, relations and residence.
  • Restrict rural-to-urban migration – With its large rural population of poor farm workers, Hukou limits mass migration from the land to the cities.
  • Allocate resources and subsidies – Hukou enables the government to affect the movement of capital, goods, and human resources.
  • Monitor political leaders – Based on Hukou files, the police maintain a confidential list of the targeted people in each community to be specially monitored and controlled.

Since the 1990s, China has undertaken to relax and abolish the Hukou system, however progress is slow. China is concerned that liberalisation of the Hukou system may lead to a massive movement of people into the cities, possible strains on city government services, damage to the rural economies, and an increase in social unrest.

For compliance, Workday offers the ability to track and store this Hukou information.

How does Workday store Hukou information?


To load Hukou, your worker must

  • be an Employee (i.e. not Contingent Worker),
  • have a Primary Work Location in China,
  • be loaded with Chinese Citizenship.

If a given worker cannot satisfy the above requirements, Workday will not show the Hukou fields for editing, and Workday will not accept Hukou information through bulk-upload services like EIB/iLoad.


Field Type Mandatory
Region Lookup Mandatory
Subregion Lookup Mandatory
Personnel File Agency Free Text Optional
Local/Rural True/False Mandatory
Notes Free Text Optional

How Do You Load Hukou?

Prepare The Business Process

A prerequisite is that the Implementer is given rights to the Initiate and Web Service rules for the Hukou Business Process Policy. Also, it is best to strip the Business Process back to be an initiate only process.

Prepare The Data

Distinct the list of employee-provided data on two key fields: location and Hukou subregion. This gets us the list of all locations and their selectable Hukou subregions.

Configure the subregions against their regions using the China Subregions iLoad, this ensures that the subregions will be available to make “selectable” in the Hukou dropdowns.

Make the subregions selectable for their locations using the Location Subregions iLoad. This makes it so an employee can be assigned to the Hukou subregion.