Using a wind power information system, which is based on the geographic information system (GIS), this paper presents a statistical analysis of built and approved wind farms to the end of 2008. The average capacity of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the scale of wind farms are investigated. The geographical distribution of wind farms and the main factors affecting wind farm siting are analysed. The results show: (i) The average capacity of WTGs is increasing; MW scale WTGs have become the mainstream product in the China market. (ii) Because of the national wind project approval policy, most of the wind farms have installed capacities of just under 50 MW. (iii) When siting a wind farm, wind resource is still the predominant factor being considered, while grid connection is still the main constraint in this stage. (iv) Concerning land use, among the wind farms built by 2008, 40% use grasslands, 31% use agricultural land, 17% use desert or bare lands, while 12% use farmlands. (v) Statistics show 88.6% of the built wind farms have elevation change of less than 300 m, and 90% of the built wind farms have GIS slopes of less than 10°. (vi) The geographical distribution of wind farms reveals a highly concentrated deployment tendency, 58.7% of all the newly built wind farms in 2008 are within 10 km of existing wind farms. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.