The quake struck on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, which put the magnitude at 5.4 and depth at 38km.
At least 22 people have been injured after a shallow earthquake in southwestern China that also shook the popular tourist city of Lijiang.
The quake struck on Sunday afternoon on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which put the magnitude at 5.4 and depth at 38km (24 miles).
The China Earthquake Networks Centre later measured the magnitude at 5.5 with a depth of 10km (6.2 miles).
The epicentre was 115km (71.5 miles) away from Lijiang in Yunnan province, the USGS said.
The Yunnan Seismological Bureau said 22 people were injured in the quake, two severely, in Ninglang county.
The provincial seismological administration said there were no reports yet of damage to houses, but state news agency Xinhua said a 60-strong search-and-rescue team was dispatched to the epicentre.
China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially in its mountainous western and southwestern regions.
In September, three people were killed and dozens injured when a shallow quake hit Sichuan province, and tens of thousands of homes were damaged.
A magnitude 7.9 quake in Sichuan in 2008 left more than 80,000 people dead.
Among them were thousands of children, killed when poorly constructed school buildings collapsed, but the government failed to release an exact number of dead as the issue took on a political dimension.