The major histocompatibility complex class I gene repertoire was investigated in a large panel of rhesus macaques of Chinese origin. As observed in Indian animals, subjects of Chinese derivation display Mamu-B gene copy number variation, and the sum of expressed genes varies among haplotypes. In addition, these genes display differential transcription levels. The majority of the Mamu-B alleles discovered during this investigation appear to be unique for the population studied. Only one particular Mamu-B haplotype is shared between Indian and Chinese animals, and it must have been present in the progenitor stock. Hence, the data highlight the fact that most allelic polymorphism, and most of the Mamu-B haplotypes themselves, are of relatively recent origin and were most likely generated after the separation of the Indian and Chinese rhesus macaque populations.