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The time in China follows a single standard time offset of UTC+08:00 (eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time), even though China spans almost five geographical time zones. The official national standard time is called Beijing Time (BJT, Chinese:北京时间) domestically and China Standard Time (CST) internationally. Daylight saving time has not been observed since 1991.

China Standard Time (UTC+8) is consistent across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Contents

In the 1870s, the Shanghai Xujiahui Observatory was constructed by a French Catholic missionary. In 1880s officials in Shanghai French Concession started to provide a time announcement service using the Shanghai Mean Solar Time provided by the aforementioned observatory for ships into and out of Shanghai. By the end of 19th century, the time standard provided by the observatory had been switched to GMT+08:00. The practice has spread to other coastal ports, and in 1902 the "Coastal Time" was proposed to be the universal time zone for all the coastal ports in China. However, the time zone for the rest of China remained undetermined.

Until 1913, the official time standard for the whole of China was still the apparent solar time of Beijing, the capital of the country at the time. Starting in 1914, the Republic of China government began adopting the Beijing Local Mean Solar Time as the official time standard. By 1918, five standard time zones had been proposed by the Central Observatory of Beiyang government of Republic of China, including the Kunlun (UTC+05:30), Sinkiang-Tibet (UTC+06:00), Kansu-Szechwan (UTC+07:00), Chungyuan (UTC+08:00), and Changpai (UTC+08:30).

The 1947 version time zone assignment that was discontinued in 1949 after the People's Republic of China was founded:
UTC+05:30 Kunlun Time
UTC+06:00 Sinkiang-Tibet Time
UTC+07:00 Kansu-Szechuan Time
UTC+08:00 Chungyuan Time
UTC+08:30 Changpai Time

After the defeat of Beiyang government in 1928, the mission of the Central Observatory was moved to Nanjing, and the reference time standard used for the construction of traditional Chinese Calendar was shifted from Beijing Mean Solar Time to UTC+08:00.

In the 1930s, the proposed five time zones had not been fully observed, causing regions in inner China area to adopt their own time standards, resulting in chaos. On 9 March 1939, when the Ministry of the Interior organized a Standard Time Conference in Chongqing, it was decided to adopt the five time zone proposal with slight modification of their borders starting from 1 June, however it was also decided that the entire country would use the Kansu-Szechwan Time (UTC+07:00) during the Second Sino-Japanese War which began at the time.

Following the end of World War II, the five time zone system was resumed, although there is little information about the historical usage of time in the Kunlun and Changpai zones. A further refined system with adjustment to zone assignment in the Northwest part of Gansu was announced in 1947 for adoption in 1948. However, as the Chinese Civil War came to its end in 1949–1950, regional governments under the influence of the Communist Party of China, other than those in Xinjiang and Tibet, switched to use the same time as Beijing, which is UTC+08:00, and is later known as Beijing Time or China Standard Time.

There are two independent sources that claim the Communist Party of China, and/or the People's Republic of China, were using apparent solar time for Beijing Time before the period between 27 September 1949 and 6 October 1949, and they adopted the time of UTC+08:00 within that period of time, but the claim is dubious.

Time zone changes in Tibet are undocumented, but Beijing Time was in use until at least the mid-1950s. Between 1969 and 1986, the time zone was switched repeatedly between Xinjiang Time (UTC+06:00) and Beijing Time.

Daylight saving time was observed from 1945 to 1948, and from 1986 to 1991.

In 1997 and 1999, Hong Kong and Macau were transferred to China from the United Kingdom and Portugal respectively, being established as special administrative regions. Although the sovereignty of the SARs belongs to China, they retain their own policies regarding time zones for historical reasons. Due to their geographical locations, both are within the UTC+08:00 time zone, which is the same as the national standard, Beijing time.

As an illustration of the wide range, the daylight hours (Beijing Time) for the seats of the westernmost (both including and not including Xinjiang due to local customs, see below) and easternmost counties, calculated for the year 2010, are shown here:

Division Daylight time
Location County Province 1 January 1 July
Westernmost Akto Xinjiang 10:16 – 19:44 07:34 – 22:26
Westernmost (not including Xinjiang) Zanda Tibet 09:40 – 19:48 07:39 – 21:50
Easternmost Fuyuan Heilongjiang 06:54 – 15:18 03:05 – 19:08

The border with Afghanistan at the Wakhjir Pass has the most significant official change of clocks for any international land frontier: UTC+08:00 in China to UTC+04:30 in Afghanistan.

Xinjiang

Main article: Xinjiang Time
Map of Xinjiang, together with rest of China

In Xinjiang, two time standards are used in parallel, namely Beijing Time and Xinjiang Time.

Xinjiang Time, also known as Ürümqi Time (Chinese:乌鲁木齐时间; pinyin: Wūlǔmùqí Shíjiān), is set due to its geographical location in the westernmost part of the country. The time offset is UTC+06:00, which is two hours behind Beijing, and is shared with neighbouring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Some local Xinjiang authorities now use both time standards side by side. Television stations schedule programmes in different time standards according to their nature.

The coexistence of two time zones within the same region causes some confusion among the local population, especially when inter-racial communication occurs. When a time is mentioned in conversation between Han and Uyghur, it is necessary to either explicitly make clear whether the time is in Xinjiang Time or Beijing Time, or convert the time according to the ethnicity of the other party. The double time standard is particularly observable in Xinjiang Television, which schedules its Chinese channel according to Beijing time and its Uyghur and Kazakh channels according to Xinjiang time.

Regardless, Beijing Time users in Xinjiang usually schedule their daily activities two hours later than those who live in eastern China. As such, stores and offices in Xinjiang are commonly open from 10am to 7pm Beijing Time, which equals 8am to 5pm in Ürümqi Time. This is known as the work/rest time in Xinjiang.

In most areas of Xinjiang, the opening time of local authorities is additionally modified by shifting the morning session 30–60 minutes earlier and the afternoon session 30 minutes later to extend the lunch break for 60–90 minutes, so as to avoid the intense heat during noon time in the area during summer.

Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau maintain their own time authorities after transfer of sovereignty in 1997 and 1999 respectively. The Hong Kong Time (Chinese:香港時間; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 si4 gaan3) and Macau Standard Time (Chinese:澳門標準時間; Jyutping: ou3 mun2 biu1 zeon2 si4 gaan3; Portuguese: Hora Oficial de Macau) are both UTC+08:00 all year round, thus in line with Beijing time, and daylight saving time has not been used since 1979 in Hong Kong and 1980 in Macau. In Hong Kong, Greenwich Mean Time was adopted as the basis in 1904, and UTC was adopted as a standard in 1972. Before that, local time was determined by astronomical observations at Hong Kong Observatory using a6-inch Lee Equatorial telescope and a 3-inch Transit Circle[clarify].

The territory of the People's Republic of China is covered in the IANA time zone database by the following zones. "Asia/Shanghai" is used instead of "Asia/Beijing" because Shanghai is the most populous location in the zone.

Columns marked with * are from the file zone.tab of the database.

c.c.* coordinates* TZ* comments* Standard time Summer time Notes
CN +3114+12128 Asia/Shanghai Beijing Time tUTC+08:00
CN +4348+08735 Asia/Urumqi Xinjiang Time tUTC+06:00 Unofficial
HK +2217+11409 Asia/Hong_Kong tUTC+08:00
MO +221150+1133230 Asia/Macau tUTC+08:00

Backward compatibility zone

The following zones, including Asia/Kashgar, Asia/Chongqing, and Asia/Harbin, are kept in the "backzone" file of the IANA time zone database for backward compatibility.

c.c.* coordinates* TZ* comments* Standard time Summer time Notes
CN Asia/Harbin tUTC+08:00 linked back to Asia/Shanghai
CN Asia/Chongqing tUTC+08:00 linked back to Asia/Shanghai
CN Asia/Kashgar tUTC+08:00 linked back to Asia/Ürümqi
  1. 时间的概念 [The concept of time]. 国家授时中心科普网站 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 16 October 2012.
  2. 黑河综合遥感联合试验:冰沟流域加密观测区径流加强观测数据集 [WATER: Dataset of intensive runoff observations in the Binggou watershed foci experimental area]. 国家青藏高原科学数据中心 [National Tibetan Plateau Data Center] (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved26 March 2021.
  3. "CST – China Standard Time (Time Zone Abbreviation)". timeanddate.com.
  4. "Daylight Saving Time in China". timeanddate.com.
  5. Guo, Qing-sheng (2001). 中国标准时制考 [A Study on the Standard Time Changes for the Past 100 Years in China](PDF). China Historical Materials of Science and Technology (in Chinese (China)). 22 (3): 269–280. 1000-0798(2001)03-0269-12. Archived from the original(PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved9 December 2016.
  6. Guo, Qingsheng (2003). "Beijing Time at the Beginning of PRC". China Historical Materials of Science and Technology'. 24 (1): 5–9.
  7. "NOAA Solar Calculator". NOAA. Retrieved11 December 2020.
  8. 39°08′52″N75°56′51″E /39.1478°N 75.9474°E /39.1478; 75.9474
  9. 31°28′48″N79°48′26″E /31.479882°N 79.807096°E /31.479882; 79.807096
  10. 48°21′53″N134°18′28″E /48.3647°N 134.3079°E /48.3647; 134.3079
  11. 冷知识:"北京时间"的由来. Xinhua (in Simplified Chinese). 3 November 2015. Retrieved3 November 2015.
  12. 2 节气、数九、昼长、乌鲁木齐时间. xjxnw.gov.cn (in Chinese). 22 February 2011. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved12 October 2014.
  13. Ingram, Ruth (September 2013). "Bending Time in Xinjiang". EthnoTraveler Magazine.
  14. 作息时间. xjlt.gov.cn (in Chinese). 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014.
  15. 10点日出,半夜吃饭,在新疆用北京时间的烦恼. zh:纽约时报中文网 [New York Times Chinese Website] (in Chinese). 17 June 2016.
  16. 【城市】乌鲁木齐:没有屋顶的博物馆. Southern Weekly (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 21 December 2016.
  17. Demick, Barbara (31 March 2009). "Clocks square off in China's far west". Los Angeles Times.
  18. 北京时间的概念 (in Chinese).
  19. "The Working-Calendar for The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government". The Government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved26 July 2008. Urumqi Time (GMT+6) is 2 hours behind Beijing Time
  20. 政协委员建议:调整新疆单位作息时间 (in Chinese). 人民网. 17 January 2014.
  21. "Macau Standard Time". Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  22. "O Serviço de<<Hora Exacta>> na Internet". Direcção dos Serviços Meteorológicos e Geofísicos [Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau] (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved27 March 2011.
  23. timeanddate.com, Daylight Saving Time in Hong Kong
  24. timeanddate.com, Daylight Saving Time in Macau
  25. "1883-1933: Equatorial & Transit Circle". Hong Kong Obvervatory.
  26. Theory and pragmatics of the tz code and data
Government departments responsible for time services

Time in China Article Talk Language Watch Edit The time in China follows a single standard time offset of UTC 08 00 eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time even though China spans almost five geographical time zones The official national standard time is called Beijing Time BJT Chinese 北京时间 domestically 1 2 and China Standard Time CST internationally 3 Daylight saving time has not been observed since 1991 4 China Standard Time UTC 8 is consistent across Mainland China Hong Kong Macau and Taiwan Contents 1 History 2 Geography 3 Regions with special time regulations 3 1 Xinjiang 3 2 Hong Kong and Macau 4 IANA time zone database 4 1 Backward compatibility zone 5 See also 6 References 7 External linksHistory EditMain article Historical time zones of China In the 1870s the Shanghai Xujiahui Observatory was constructed by a French Catholic missionary In 1880s officials in Shanghai French Concession started to provide a time announcement service using the Shanghai Mean Solar Time provided by the aforementioned observatory for ships into and out of Shanghai By the end of 19th century the time standard provided by the observatory had been switched to GMT 08 00 5 The practice has spread to other coastal ports and in 1902 the Coastal Time was proposed to be the universal time zone for all the coastal ports in China However the time zone for the rest of China remained undetermined Until 1913 the official time standard for the whole of China was still the apparent solar time of Beijing the capital of the country at the time Starting in 1914 the Republic of China government began adopting the Beijing Local Mean Solar Time as the official time standard By 1918 five standard time zones had been proposed by the Central Observatory of Beiyang government of Republic of China including the Kunlun UTC 05 30 Sinkiang Tibet UTC 06 00 Kansu Szechwan UTC 07 00 Chungyuan UTC 08 00 and Changpai UTC 08 30 5 The 1947 version time zone assignment that was discontinued in 1949 after the People s Republic of China was founded UTC 05 30 Kunlun Time UTC 06 00 Sinkiang Tibet Time UTC 07 00 Kansu Szechuan Time UTC 08 00 Chungyuan Time UTC 08 30 Changpai Time After the defeat of Beiyang government in 1928 the mission of the Central Observatory was moved to Nanjing and the reference time standard used for the construction of traditional Chinese Calendar was shifted from Beijing Mean Solar Time to UTC 08 00 5 In the 1930s the proposed five time zones had not been fully observed causing regions in inner China area to adopt their own time standards resulting in chaos On 9 March 1939 when the Ministry of the Interior organized a Standard Time Conference in Chongqing it was decided to adopt the five time zone proposal with slight modification of their borders starting from 1 June however it was also decided that the entire country would use the Kansu Szechwan Time UTC 07 00 during the Second Sino Japanese War which began at the time 5 Following the end of World War II the five time zone system was resumed although there is little information about the historical usage of time in the Kunlun and Changpai zones A further refined system with adjustment to zone assignment in the Northwest part of Gansu was announced in 1947 for adoption in 1948 However as the Chinese Civil War came to its end in 1949 1950 regional governments under the influence of the Communist Party of China other than those in Xinjiang and Tibet switched to use the same time as Beijing which is UTC 08 00 and is later known as Beijing Time or China Standard Time 5 There are two independent sources that claim the Communist Party of China and or the People s Republic of China were using apparent solar time for Beijing Time before the period between 27 September 1949 and 6 October 1949 and they adopted the time of UTC 08 00 within that period of time but the claim is dubious 6 Time zone changes in Tibet are undocumented but Beijing Time was in use until at least the mid 1950s Between 1969 and 1986 the time zone was switched repeatedly between Xinjiang Time UTC 06 00 and Beijing Time 5 Daylight saving time was observed from 1945 to 1948 and from 1986 to 1991 5 In 1997 and 1999 Hong Kong and Macau were transferred to China from the United Kingdom and Portugal respectively being established as special administrative regions Although the sovereignty of the SARs belongs to China they retain their own policies regarding time zones for historical reasons Due to their geographical locations both are within the UTC 08 00 time zone which is the same as the national standard Beijing time Geography EditAs an illustration of the wide range the daylight hours Beijing Time for the seats of the westernmost both including and not including Xinjiang due to local customs see below and easternmost counties calculated for the year 2010 are shown here 7 Division Daylight timeLocation County Province 1 January 1 JulyWesternmost Akto 8 Xinjiang 10 16 19 44 07 34 22 26Westernmost not including Xinjiang Zanda 9 Tibet 09 40 19 48 07 39 21 50Easternmost Fuyuan 10 Heilongjiang 06 54 15 18 03 05 19 08 The border with Afghanistan at the Wakhjir Pass has the most significant official change of clocks for any international land frontier UTC 08 00 in China to UTC 04 30 in Afghanistan Regions with special time regulations EditXinjiang Edit Main article Xinjiang Time Map of Xinjiang together with rest of China In Xinjiang two time standards are used in parallel namely Beijing Time and Xinjiang Time 11 5 Xinjiang Time also known as Urumqi Time Chinese 乌鲁木齐时间 pinyin Wulǔmuqi Shijian is set due to its geographical location in the westernmost part of the country 12 The time offset is UTC 06 00 which is two hours behind Beijing and is shared with neighbouring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Some local Xinjiang authorities now use both time standards side by side 13 14 Television stations schedule programmes in different time standards according to their nature 5 The coexistence of two time zones within the same region causes some confusion among the local population especially when inter racial communication occurs When a time is mentioned in conversation between Han and Uyghur it is necessary to either explicitly make clear whether the time is in Xinjiang Time or Beijing Time or convert the time according to the ethnicity of the other party 15 16 17 The double time standard is particularly observable in Xinjiang Television which schedules its Chinese channel according to Beijing time and its Uyghur and Kazakh channels according to Xinjiang time 18 Regardless Beijing Time users in Xinjiang usually schedule their daily activities two hours later than those who live in eastern China As such stores and offices in Xinjiang are commonly open from 10am to 7pm Beijing Time which equals 8am to 5pm in Urumqi Time 19 This is known as the work rest time in Xinjiang 20 In most areas of Xinjiang the opening time of local authorities is additionally modified by shifting the morning session 30 60 minutes earlier and the afternoon session 30 minutes later to extend the lunch break for 60 90 minutes so as to avoid the intense heat during noon time in the area during summer 14 Hong Kong and Macau Edit Hong Kong and Macau maintain their own time authorities after transfer of sovereignty in 1997 and 1999 respectively The Hong Kong Time Chinese 香港時間 Jyutping hoeng1 gong2 si4 gaan3 and Macau Standard Time 21 Chinese 澳門標準時間 Jyutping ou3 mun2 biu1 zeon2 si4 gaan3 Portuguese Hora Oficial de Macau 22 are both UTC 08 00 all year round thus in line with Beijing time and daylight saving time has not been used since 1979 in Hong Kong and 1980 in Macau 23 24 In Hong Kong Greenwich Mean Time was adopted as the basis in 1904 and UTC was adopted as a standard in 1972 Before that local time was determined by astronomical observations at Hong Kong Observatory using a 6 inch Lee Equatorial telescope and a 3 inch Transit Circle clarify 25 IANA time zone database EditThe territory of the People s Republic of China is covered in the IANA time zone database by the following zones Asia Shanghai is used instead of Asia Beijing because Shanghai is the most populous location in the zone 26 Columns marked with are from the file zone tab of the database c c coordinates TZ comments Standard time Summer time NotesCN 3114 12128 Asia Shanghai Beijing Time t UTC 08 00 CN 4348 08735 Asia Urumqi Xinjiang Time t UTC 06 00 UnofficialHK 2217 11409 Asia Hong Kong t UTC 08 00 MO 221150 1133230 Asia Macau t UTC 08 00 Backward compatibility zone Edit The following zones including Asia Kashgar Asia Chongqing and Asia Harbin are kept in the backzone file of the IANA time zone database for backward compatibility c c coordinates TZ comments Standard time Summer time NotesCN Asia Harbin t UTC 08 00 linked back to Asia ShanghaiCN Asia Chongqing t UTC 08 00 linked back to Asia ShanghaiCN Asia Kashgar t UTC 08 00 linked back to Asia UrumqiSee also EditHistorical time zones of China Hong Kong TimeReferences Edit 时间的概念 The concept of time 国家授时中心科普网站 in Chinese Archived from the original on 16 October 2012 黑河综合遥感联合试验 冰沟流域加密观测区径流加强观测数据集 WATER Dataset of intensive runoff observations in the Binggou watershed foci experimental area 国家青藏高原科学数据中心 National Tibetan Plateau Data Center in Simplified Chinese Retrieved 26 March 2021 CST China Standard Time Time Zone Abbreviation timeanddate com Daylight Saving Time in China timeanddate com a b c d e f g h i Guo Qing sheng 2001 中国标准时制考 A Study on the Standard Time Changes for the Past 100 Years in China PDF China Historical Materials of Science and Technology in Chinese China 22 3 269 280 1000 0798 2001 03 0269 12 Archived from the original PDF on 20 December 2016 Retrieved 9 December 2016 Guo Qingsheng 2003 Beijing Time at the Beginning of PRC China Historical Materials of Science and Technology 24 1 5 9 NOAA Solar Calculator NOAA Retrieved 11 December 2020 39 08 52 N 75 56 51 E 39 1478 N 75 9474 E 39 1478 75 9474 31 28 48 N 79 48 26 E 31 479882 N 79 807096 E 31 479882 79 807096 48 21 53 N 134 18 28 E 48 3647 N 134 3079 E 48 3647 134 3079 冷知识 北京时间 的由来 Xinhua in Simplified Chinese 3 November 2015 Retrieved 3 November 2015 2 节气 数九 昼长 乌鲁木齐时间 xjxnw gov cn in Chinese 22 February 2011 Archived from the original on 17 October 2014 Retrieved 12 October 2014 Ingram Ruth September 2013 Bending Time in Xinjiang EthnoTraveler Magazine a b 作息时间 xjlt gov cn in Chinese 26 August 2008 Archived from the original on 12 October 2014 10点日出 半夜吃饭 在新疆用北京时间的烦恼 zh 纽约时报中文网 New York Times Chinese Website in Chinese 17 June 2016 城市 乌鲁木齐 没有屋顶的博物馆 Southern Weekly in Chinese Archived from the original on 21 December 2016 Demick Barbara 31 March 2009 Clocks square off in China s far west Los Angeles Times 北京时间的概念 in Chinese The Working Calendar for The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government The Government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China Archived from the original on 4 December 2011 Retrieved 26 July 2008 Urumqi Time GMT 6 is 2 hours behind Beijing Time 政协委员建议 调整新疆单位作息时间 in Chinese 人民网 17 January 2014 Macau Standard Time Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau Archived from the original on 16 July 2011 O Servico de lt lt Hora Exacta gt gt na Internet Direccao dos Servicos Meteorologicos e Geofisicos Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau in Portuguese Archived from the original on 16 July 2011 Retrieved 27 March 2011 timeanddate com Daylight Saving Time in Hong Kong timeanddate com Daylight Saving Time in Macau 1883 1933 Equatorial amp Transit Circle Hong Kong Obvervatory Theory and pragmatics of the tz code and dataExternal links EditGovernment departments responsible for time servicesNational Time Service Center the Chinese Academy of Sciences Hong Kong Observatory Hong Kong Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau SMG Macau Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Time in China amp oldid 1093180561, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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