You probably know that China is massive. China has the largest population in the world and it is also the second-largest country by land area. It covers an area of 9,600,000 sq km and it has a coastline of 18,200 km.

The Chinese time zone is 8 hours ahead of UTC. This means that when it’s 8 am in Beijing, it’s 4 pm in London. China’s largest cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen are all on Beijing Standard Time.

But a large number of Chinese people live in other parts of the country where daylight saving time is not used. This means that they are an hour ahead of those living in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. That’s why converting time zone for other countries become difficult.  This has also created a great inconvenience for the people who live in different time zones because it forces them to change their daily schedules to match the others’ schedules.

Time Zone History of China

old time zone map of china

Between 1918 and 1949, there used to be different time zones in China. It used to be as follows along with its abbreviation and UTC offsets:

  • Kunkun Time (UTC +5.30)
  • Sinkiang-Tibet Time (UTC +6.00)
  • Kansu-Szechwan Time (UTC +7.00)
  • Chungyuan Time (UTC +8.00)
  • Changpai Time (UTC +8.30)

Above image of time zone territories having five different time zones separated by colors. The history of time zones in China is quite interesting. It is a long and complicated story with many twists and turns.

The time zone history of China starts in 1894 when Beijing set its time zone to GMT+8. In 1912, after the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and Republic of China was founded, they changed it to GMT+7. But then in 1949, after the Communist Party came into power, they again changed it back to GMT+8. It is currently known as China Standard Time.

Reason Behind Single Time Zone of China

China is one of the few countries in the world to have a single time zone. The country spans five time zones, but the government has opted for a single time zone. The decision was made to make it easier for China’s large population to work together and avoid confusion.

The Chinese government’s decision to follow a single time zone means that people all over the country can avoid confusion about what time it is and can have more consistency with their schedules.

Impact of One Time Zone on China’s Citizens

The single time zone is a major obstacle for Chinese people to communicate with others. It is hard for them to know the exact time in other countries and they are not able to work at the same time as other people.

The single time zone also affects their social life, it is hard for them to stay connected with friends from all over the world.

According to Thrive Global, sleep of Chinese people is affected by a single time zone. That’s because, in some parts of country, there are more than 3 hours of time zone difference. Hence, it is makes difficult to maintain enough hours of sleep.

Other Large Countries that Have Single Time Zone

Besides China, there are many other countries that follow single time zones. Following are some of them:

  • Afghanistan
  • Colombia
  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • India
  • Iran
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia

There are many other countries in the list. But above are major ones. Don’t forget to add more by contact us.

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