No visa is required for ordinary passport holders from Brunei, Japan and Singapore to visit China for up to 15 days for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends or transit.
Everyone else needs a visa. Head to your local embassy or try the Chinese Visa Application Center]
If you are passing through Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenyang, Dalian, or Xian airports you can stay for 72 hours, provided you hold visas for onward countries, final destination tickets, have booked seats and you have a passport from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates or Qatar.
Visas can be obtained easily at most embassies and takes around 4 days. Prices vary depending on your nationality.
Visa exemption for mainland China
Chinese Visa Application Center
China visa information
China embassies and consulates