While transfusion-transmissible diseases, including AIDS and viral hepatitis, continue to spread especially in developing countries, the issue of safeguarding the world's blood supply is of paramount importance. China houses more than 20% of the earth's population, and thus its blood supply has the potential to affect the global community. In recent years, Chinese blood centres have tried to improve the nation's blood safety. Although substantial progress has already been made, many daunting difficulties remain. Traditional cultural barriers need to be overcome to successfully mobilise volunteer blood donors. Gaps in information and technology still need to be closed. Insufficiency of economic resources also restrict the blood bank industry. Other developing countries face many of the same challenges as China.