The China Open was created in 1997 under the name of the China International. The format was a non-ranking tournament for the top 16 players in the world and local players, in doing so becoming the first international snooker tournament in China.
In the following season the event changed to a ranking format and was held in March, only for the name to be changed again, this time to the China Open. The tournament was held in December during the same year of the previous competition.
Since the name change to the China Open, the tournament has been consistently scheduled in the snooker calendar apart from a two-year absence in 2003 and 2004.
The tournament currently takes place in the Beijing University Student Gymnasium, Haidian District, Beijing in late March to early April and is the last ranking event before the World Snooker Championships.
The format of the China Open is ranking, however when the event was revived in 2004-05, the three Chinese Players on tour were invited to play as wild-cards, rather than qualify the usual way.
Chinaman Ding Junhui was one of the wild cards and went on to win the whole tournament in his home country, however as he entered as a wild card he didn’t win the prize money or win his ranking points.
This event has seen some of the true modern greats of snooker throughout its 13 year history including Steve Davis, John Higgins, Jimmy White, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams to name a few.
Mark Williams leads the record for most titles in this event with 3, although Ronnie O’Sullivan and Peter Ebdon closely follow him with two a piece.
China International (non ranking)
- 1997 – Steve Davis
China International (ranking)
- 1999 – John Higgins
China Open (ranking)
- 1999 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
- 2000 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
- 2002 – Mark Williams
- 2005 – Ding Junhui
- 2006 – Mark Williams
- 2007 – Graeme Dott
- 2008 – Stephen Maguire
- 2009 – Peter Ebdon
- 2010 – Mark Williams
- 2011 – Judd Trump
- 2012 – Peter Ebdon
- 2013 – Neil Robertson