Introduction: In North America, where it was born, problem-based learning (PBL) has seen dips and rises in its popularity, but its inherent strengths have led to its spread to medical schools all over the world. Although its use at medical schools in some Western countries has already been examined, no one has looked at its status in many other countries, including China. The aim of this study is to determine the number of schools currently using PBL in China, the degree to which they use it, and the reasoning behind such usage. Methods: We used survey and internet search to examine PBL usage at Chinese medical schools. We were able to collect data from 43 first-class Chinese medical schools that are geographically diverse and thus representative of medical schools all across China. Results: 34 (79.1%) of the 43 medical schools use PBL in the preclinical curriculum. Of the 34, data were collected from 24 (70.6%) medical schools regarding the extent of their PBL usage. Nine (37.5%) schools use PBL for less than 10% of preclinical hours, 14 (58.3%) schools use PBL for 10-50% of preclinical hours, and one (4.2%) school uses PBL for more than 50% of preclinical hours. Conclusion: In our sample of Chinese medical institutions, a large majority of schools use PBL, however, most schools use it for less than 50% of total preclinical curricular hours. Our results suggest that schools are interested in increasing the number of curricular hours devoted to PBL but are constrained by resources.