WuKong Education Blog / WuKong Sharings / A Complete Guide to Chinese Time Zones In 2024

A Complete Guide to Chinese Time Zones In 2024

When reading about China in detail and trying to understand its culture, tradition, and rules, it is important to have an eye on the Chinese time. It is because this time discussion has a huge confusion among the people who are new to this culture or reading about it. The main reason for this confusion is the extensive geographical coverage of China as compared to other countries in the world. If you are also struggling to understand the Chinese time and its difference from other countries, you have come to the right page. In this blog, you will learn about the time in China in detail.

Part 1. Overview Of Chinese Time

In China, there is only one-time zone now that is accepted in the entire country. It is normally known as the China Standard Time (CST) which has a difference of 8 hours from the Universal Time Coordinates. But the main thing to consider is that China doesn’t have one time zone in the past, it has multiple time zones because it appears to be in different time zones because of being a larger country in terms of geographics. Moreover, it is now based on the no daylight time-saving concept that is still used in some of the countries of the world. In the past, Chinese time was also based on this concept according to which the clocks are set to be an hour ahead in the summer season. The reason for this change in the clock time is the long time of sunlight in the summer months as compared to the winter. Since 1992, the daylight saving time concept has been removed from China Standard Time and they are following the same time as Beijing also called Beijing Standard Time. Be mindful that Chinese time isn’t applicable in the central part of the country but it is also implemented in the special administrative regions of China. For example, you will find the same time zone with little difference in Hong Kong and Taiwan which are special territories of the People’s Republic of China.

Part 2. How Many Time Zones Does China Have?

As mentioned earlier, China has only one time zone which is called China Standard Time. But it appears to be available in 5 different time zones that are named Zhongyuan, Longshu, Tibet, Kunlun, and Changbai. Since the birth of China in 1949, these time zones have been used in different parts of China as per their location. It was restricted to adopting these time zones after a few years of its independence and a single time zone was introduced that every state, territory, and city of China has to adopt. You will see Beijing Time applied everywhere in the country because it is considered to be a standard time for the country. You have to set your time to this Chinese time when you are living in this country or scheduling your meetings as per it. This time zone is 8 hours ahead of the Universal Time which is considered the standard time when different countries are setting their time. It is right to say that the Chinese time in the entire country will be UTC + 08:00.

Chinese Time Zone

Chinese Time Zone

Part 3. Why Does China Come In Different Time Zones?

The main reason for the appearance in different time zones is the extensive geographical coverage. China is considered one of the largest countries in the world. Moreover, it involves multiple territories that are far apart from the central China. In turn, those regions come under different time zones and China is considered to be available in 5 different time zones. It means that different states of the country can set different time standards for their ease. But the thing is China has only one standard time that applies to every state that belongs to this country. There is no time discrimination among states and cities even though they are far from Beijing. If you are living in China and your city is far from the central part of the country, you still have to follow the Beijing Standard Time.

Part 4. What Is The Difference Between Chinese Time From Other Major Cities?

Undoubtedly, you have learned about Chinese time and its zones from the above sections. But you may not find it easy to set your time to this time zone unless you know the time difference between your current place from The Chinese time. So, we have discussed a few major cities’ time differences from the CST for your understanding. You can easily estimate what will be the time in your town/city when there is a specific time in noon in Beijing. Chinese time is 13 hours ahead of New York while 12 hours ahead of Tokyo. If you are living in any of these cities or their surroundings, you can estimate the time in China when you are reading this blog. Similarly, Chinese time is only 2 hours behind Melbourne which is considered the capital city of Australia. In addition to these famous cities, China has a prominent difference in terms of time from its neighboring countries. When it comes to comparing Chinese time to Indian time, you will see that the time in China is 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead of the Indian time. Similarly, the China time has a difference of 2 hours with the Pakistan Standard Time which means the time in China is 2 hours ahead of the PST. Similarly, you can choose your main city and find the difference between your time zone and the Chinese time zone if you are looking to work with a Chinese company.

Difference of Chinese time from other cities

Difference of Chinese time from other cities


What Is The Time Difference Between China And The Uk?

The time in China is 8 hours ahead of the time in the UK. It means that the time in Beijing has a difference of exactly 8 hours from the time in London. 

Why Does China Have One Time?

In the entire China, there is a standard time that is set according to the Beijing Standard Time. It is done to standardized the time in the whole country and show unity among different states.

Does China Have 24-Hour Time?

Chinese people use both 12-hour and 24-hour time scheduling. You will find both of these time settings in this country depending on the reason for which they are used. So, you shouldn’t be confused if you are looking at AM/PM sometimes on the documents.


By reading this blog, you must be aware of the Chinese time and understand why it has confusion among non-native people. As it appears to be in 5 different time zones but has a single standard time, it confuses people when they are exploring this culture. It is difficult for people to rely on this time zone unless it is necessary for their business or education.

If you are interested in Chinese learning, come and have a free trial class from WuKong!

留资卡片:中文(en): Book Now-Online Chinese Language classes for 3 to 18 year-old students