The Complete Guide to Time in China ⏱ Your Questions, Answered

Time Zones and Daylight Savings in China 🕰 The Complete Guide

China is a mind-boggling size, and likes to do things it’s own way, the same can be said for Time in China.

What do we mean by that? Find out first by reading on as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

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?

Time in China – 20 Useful Words To Learn

After answering these FAQ’s, we’ll be teaching you 20 useful words relating to Time in Chinese so stick around!

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!

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 Doesn’t China 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?

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?

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

Time in China - Useful Vocab

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!

Time in China – Useful Vocabulary

Here are 20 useful words relating to Time in Chinese Mandarin that you should learn:

Day天 tiān
Week星期 xīngqī or 周 zhōu
Month月 yuè
Year年 nián
Time时间 shí jiān
Second秒 miǎo
Minute分钟 fēn zhōng
Morning早上 zǎo shang
Noon中午 zhōng wǔ
Afternoon下午 xià wǔ
Evening晚上 wǎn shàng
Midnight半夜 Bàn yè
Yesterday昨天 zuótiān
Tomorrow明天 míngtiān
2 Days Ago前天 qián tiān
2 Days Ahead后天 hòu tiān
3 Days Ago大前天 dà qián tiān
3 Days Ahead大后天 dà hòu tiān
Clock时钟 shí zhōng
Alarm Clock闹钟 nào zhōng

There we have it, our complete guide, did you find it useful? If so tell us below.

We’ve got other guides which you also might be interested in which include:

  • More useful vocabulary relating to Time in Chinese Mandarin. If you liked the 20 we taught you above, there’s loads more we’ve got for you which include how to tell the time in Chinese.

Enjoy and happy learning!

Time in China – FAQ’s

How many time zones does China have?

China has just one time zone.

How many time zones does China span across?

China spans over a huge 5 time zones.

For reference they are the Zhongyuan, Longshu, Tibet, Kunlun and Changbai time zones.

What is the time zone of China?

During Summer months China is GMT + 7, during Winter it is GMT + 8.

How do you say Month in Chinese?

Month in Chinese is 月 yuè.

How do you say Week in Chinese?

There are actually two words that can be used for week in Chinese which are 星期 xīngqī or 周 zhōu.

Commonly the first one is spoken most.

How do you say Tomorrow in Chinese?

Tomorrow in Chinese is 明天 míngtiān.

How do you say Yesterday in Chinese?

Yesterday in Chinese is 昨天 zuótiān.

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 Chinese, useful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools!

Sign up below and become part of our ever growing community!

PS – Did you know you can also start studying Chinese with us online also!



Leave a Reply

You will get a reply from us
Your email address will not be published. Name and Email are required.

  1. Remi Acien

    For the China that will be Daylight Saving Time GMT +9 , Standard Time GMT +8 . It’s yes.

    1. Max Hobbs

      Hey Remi,

      In Winter we are 8 hours ahead of GMT and in the Summer 7 hours.

      Not the easiest time difference to deal with for Facetiming family and friends!


  2. Shaun

    Excellent post

    1. Max Hobbs

      Thanks for the feedback Shaun

  3. Blows my mind China is one time zone

    1. Max Hobbs

      You aren’t the only one!