This new web focus from Cell Death & Differentiation, Cell Death & Disease and Cell Death Discovery highlights some of the latest research from China in the related fields covered by those journals, including cell death, stem cells, autophagy, and tumor biology. In the last 30 years, China has experienced a booming economy, which has resulted in a huge increase in the funds channelled into biomedical research. More importantly, there is a steady increase in the number of talented young scientists who have trained in western countries and are returning to China. We are now witnessing the fastest development of biomedical research in China. This focus highlights the current progress in several important research areas, from mechanism-driven basic research to studies with translational potential.