Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) is a polymorphic enzyme responsible for the metabolism of different drugs with low therapeutic index such as oral anticoagulants. CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 are two single nucleotide polymorphic allelic variants. The frequency of these alleles in different ethnic populations is extremely variable. In this study, we compared the frequencies of CYP2C9 allelic variants among 394 Chinese living in Shanghai to 151 French Caucasians living in Paris. The allelic frequencies of CYP2C9 variants of the Chinese and the French subjects were 0.963, 0.001, 0.036 and 0.77, 0.15, 0.08 for CYP2C9*1, CYP2C9*2, CYP2C9*3, respectively. Chinese CYP2C9*3 allelic frequency was twice as lower as the French subjects, but three times higher than Korean (0.036 vs. 0.011). The CYP2C9*2 allele could be detected in only one Chinese subject, whereas it represented the major allelic variant in French Caucasians. The low frequency of the CYP2C9*2 and CYP2C9*3 allelic variants in Chinese subjects does not justify their detection in clinical practice, unlike French Caucasians.