Travel restrictions have been eased to allow migrant workers in the city of Shenzhen to visit neighboring Hong Kong from December 15.
The figures are quite remarkable. Four million migrant factory workers will, in theory at least, be eligible for permits for cross-border shopping and sightseeing trips to Hong Kong.
Currently, they have to return to their home provinces to apply for permission to visit the former British colony.
This is not expected to result in a flood of holiday makers. Migrant factory workers usually earn RMB800-2,000 a month (US$130-300) and they need that money to live on and perhaps send a little to the home village. And in Shenzhen workers get little time off.
M&C acknowledges cross-border travel restrictions have been eased in stages since 2003. But this latest easing is unlikely to have a major effect.