Today, I've heard in a radio program that, even though China spans over eight different time zones, it uses a single time for the entire country. This causes the westernmost regions of China to have sunrise as late as around 11 am. Is this true?

If yes, then when do offices (and shops etc.) open in Tibet and other westernmost regions? Are they:

  • open during "regular" hours, as in other countries (i.e. 8-9 am and thus in easternmost parts of China they're open very late at night) or
  • open "near" sunrise (meaning that they open around 11 am)?
  • 5
    Just to clarify: the difference in solar time between the easternost and westernmost points of China is about 4 hours and 5 minutes. So "eight different time zones" is open to misinterpretation.
    – TonyK
    Sep 15, 2016 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


Tibet offices operate during normal business hours for their geographic time zone. While the official time in all of China is Beijing Time, most regions operate based on their geographic time zone, not Beijing Time.

  • 4
    Do you have a source for this? Or just based on experience?
    – Mark Mayo
    Sep 14, 2016 at 13:04

From my personal experience, the official offices there open at normal times as in the rest of China, which of course means that in the winter months it feels early for the workers since it is still a little dark - around sunrise.

General shops, market traders, cafes etc open quite late - about 10am. I found there was not a wide choice of early morning breakfast opportunities as in other parts of China.

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