China has a large population and a high prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The increasing incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, coupled with an ageing population, will exacerbate the burden of CKD unless effective control and prevention strategies are implemented. The unmet challenges of managing the growing number of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in China are reflected by the lower rate of patients receiving dialysis relative to many Western countries, owing to a lack of financial and clinical resources, and inequalities in access to health care across regions and populations. The feasibility of expanding peritoneal dialysis is being examined, and ongoing health-care reforms provide an invaluable opportunity to improve the status and quality of dialysis for patients with ESRD in China. The Chinese Society of Nephrology (CSN) advocates for efforts focused on preventing CKD coupled with early detection, treatment, and adequate follow-up to reduce mortality and the long-term burden of CKD. In addition, rapid advances in nephrology research, from basic science to clinical epidemiology, as well as broad communication and collaboration between the CSN and other international nephrology societies, will promote the development of nephrology in China.