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Science fiction has existed in China since Lu Xun (penname of Zhou Shuren, 25 September 1881–19 October 1936), a leading figure of Chinese literature, translated From the Earth to the Moon by French author Jules Verne into Chinese in 1902. Fannish activity in China today takes place in Shanghai; Beijing; Chengdu, Sichuan; and, likely, other places obscure to the West.

SF AppleCore in Shanghai, the largest and most active sf club in eastern China, has held the Shanghai SF & Fantasy Festival in 2009 and annually since 2011.

The Beijing Science Fiction Reading Group meets weekly. The city has hosted the China Science Fiction Convention since 2016. China’s first Worldcon bid, Beijing in 2016, lost to Kansas City in 2016.

The Nebula Awards have been given annually since 2010 for pro and fan activity by the World Chinese Science Fiction Association.

Chengdu, regarded by the Chinese SF community as the "capital of Chinese SF," is home to professional groups like Eight Light Minutes Culture and SFW Publishing, publishers of Science Fiction World, the biggest circulation Chinese prozine; the magazine established the annual Galaxy Awards in 1985. Chengdu is also flourishing with SF-related industries like game developers, film and television.

There has been a professional sf presence in Chengdu for decades. The Chinese sf community came into Western notice in 1989, when Yang Xiao, editor of Science Fiction World magazine (then called Science Literature) traveled by herself to Eurocon 1989 in San Marino, and bid to hold the 1991 conference of World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals in Chengdu. Together with Xiang Jichun (arts editor of Science Literature) and Shen Zaiwang, Yang next attended ConFiction, the 1990 Worldcon in the Netherlands, where her bid won, over Poland and Yugoslavia.

Malcolm Edwards reported that the 1991 WSF Conference in China was the best to date, with over 300 SF authors and editors attending. That was the first Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Conference launched by Yang; with the fourth event, in 2017, it is now biennial.

Chengdu is also developing a science fiction museum and theme park.

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