Particle size and absorption properties have been determined from combined one-wavelength Raman lidar and Sun photometer measurements in the Pearl River Delta (South China) in October 2004, and in Beijing (North China) in January 2005. Particle effective radius varied around 0.24 μm in the south of China. Aerosols were strongly light absorbing throughout the continental haze layers. The mean imaginary part was around 0.02i and the single-scattering albedo was as low as 0.75 at 532 nm wavelength. Similar aerosol properties were found over Beijing.