Publication Date



In response to the growing rural-urban inequality, China is undertaking a series of policy initiatives to promote rural development. In addition to redistributive policies aiming at social protection, asset-based policy, which integrates social protection and social investment, is another viable option for progressive rural development. In 1998, the Hutubi local government in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China implemented an innovative retirement program which allows account holders to use accounts as legal collateral to borrow small loans and invest in productive assets such as farming supplies and equipment, education, and small businesses. Using the data gathered by the program and in-depth interviews with program participants, this case study closely examines the Hutubi Program. Strengths and limitations of the loan program are discussed, followed by a closer look at the program’s key features that have effectively encouraged asset building in a rural community. The success of the Hutubi Program has implications for asset-based policy development in rural China.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Global Asset Building


For the Chinese version of this Working Paper, see The paper was subsequently published: Guo, B., Huang, J., Zou, L., & Sherraden, M. (2008). Asset-based policy in rural China: An innovation in the retirement social insurance program. China Journal of Social Work, 1(1), 63–76. doi:10.1080/17525090701855976

Original Citation

Guo, B., Huang, J., Zou, L., & Sherraden, M. (2007). Asset-based policy in rural China: An innovation in the Retirement Social Insurance Program (CSD Working Paper No. 07-23). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


China: Inclusive Asset-Based Policy


Rural, IDA, individual development account, social insurance, retirement, GAP, policy