ZNF804A, a recently identified risk gene for schizophrenia, has been extensively investigated and the principle finding for this locus has been the association with SNP rs1344706 in populations of European ancestries. However, in Asian populations, only a few studies have been conducted for rs1344706 and the results were inconsistent. Here, we studied rs1344706 and schizophrenia susceptibility in multiple Asian case–control samples (10 Chinese and 2 Japanese samples; N = 21,062), and the meta-analyses indicated non-significant association of rs1344706 with schizophrenia (P = 0.26), suggesting the same SNP identified in European samples is not predisposing risk in Asians. Further genotyping and association analyses of a set of SNPs spanning the entire genomic region of ZNF804A (520 kb) identified no association except for SNP rs359895 (P = 7.8 × 10−5, N = 5,172), a newly reported risk SNP located in the ZNF804A promoter region with functional implications. This suggests that ZNF804A may also contribute to schizophrenia susceptibility in Asians although the risk SNP is different from that in Europeans, and it was supported by the detected up-regulation of ZNF804A mRNA expression in the blood cells of Chinese schizophrenia patients compared with normal controls (P = 0.004). Additionally, the linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure analyses using data from HapMap indicated distinct LD blocks across ZNF804A between Chinese and Europeans, which may explain the different association patterns between them, and also highlight the compounding difficulty of genetic studies of complex diseases like schizophrenia when studying multiple ethnic populations. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.