The Complete Guide to Time in China

Time Zones and Daylight Savings in China – Time in China : The Complete Guide?

Time in China – What is Daylight Saving Time?

Time in China – What is the time zone in China?

Time in China – Why doesn’t China have Daylight Saving Time?

Time in China – Why did China stop using Daylight Saving Time?

Time in China – How many time zones does China have?

Why China Doesn't Have Daylight Saving Time?

Why China Doesn’t Have Daylight Saving Time?

What is Daylight Saving Time?

DEFINITION – Daylight Saving Time, simply called DST is a seasonal time change measure used worldwide to make better use of daylight and to conserve energy.

Time in China - It's a BIG country!

Time in China – It’s a BIG country!

VOCAB ALERT – Daylight Savings Time translates to : 日光节约时 – Rìguāng jiéyuē shí

One of the main aims of DST is to make people’s active hours match with the daylight ones so that less artificial light is needed.

Therefore much of the world (over 70 countries) adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in autumn to standard time.

This change affects over 1 billion people every year and it varies from one country to another.

Time Zone – 时区 Shíqū

Time Difference – 时差 Shíchā

What is the time zone in China?

Due to the fact China does not implement daylight saving time they are:

  • GMT +8 in the winter months
  • GMT +7 during the summer months

VOCAB ALERT – Greenwich Mean Time translates to 格林威治平均时间 – gé lín wēi zhì píng jūn shí jiān

The clocks do not change in China, but remember to adjust your time difference by the hour for your calls to relatives and friends back home

Why China Doesn’t Have Daylight Saving Time?

In China, as several Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India, the daily clock remains unchanged throughout the year, but this wasn’t always the case for China.

From April 1986 to September 1991, in fact, the Chinese Government decided to institute the DST because a study from Peking University showed as that could save up to 2 billion kilowatt hours of energy per year.

So that begs the question…

Why did China stop using DST?

Time in China - It's all One Big Time Zone!

Time in China – It’s all One Big Time Zone!

It is estimated that the country saved 700 million kilowatt-hours in 1986, but, despite this overwhelming factual evidence of energy conservation, in 1991 Chinese Government decided to stop adopting the Daylight Saving Time, due to its unpopularity.

Since April 1986, in fact, many Chinese people complained about the time change, and in some cities, especially in Guangzhou, many people completely ignored it.

Since DST is not adopted in China anymore, when scheduling a call from or to the Middle Kingdom, make sure you consider time differences will vary during the year, as many countries observe DST during different periods while China doesn’t!

How many time zones does China have?

The Bund in Shanghai lit up at night

The Bund in Shanghai – The heart of business in China

Despite the fact China spans over a huge FIVE time zones, guess how many time zones they officially have?

One! China has one time zone!

How can that be? The country spans over a whopping five time zones, which for reference are the Zhongyuan, Longshu, Tibet, Kunlun and Changbai time zones.

DID YOU KNOW: China combined the time zones into just one in 1949. The result is that in some regions the sunset can be seen as late as 10 pm.

The usage of one time zone is solely centred around where business is at it’s most important which is overwhelming in favour of the east of China. This leaves the west of China with some rather odd daylight hours, Xinjiang province baring the brunt of it. China is big, and Xinjiang is not close to Beijing one bit!

How Big is China – Size Matters

Want more from LTL?

If you wish to hear more from LTL Mandarin School why not join our mailing list. We give plenty of handy information on learning Chineseuseful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools! Sign up below and become part of our ever growing community!