source from www.gov.cn
China issues two kinds of tourist visas to foreign travelers - a family visit visa and a tourist visa.
A tourist visa refers to a visa which is issued to travelers from certain countries. A tourist visa is usually valid for 30 days – or a maximum of 90 days - and cannot be extended. Tourist visa holders are not allowed to work in China.
A group tourist visa is another kind of tourist visa. It is evidenced on the Group Tourist Form instead of on the individual passport. The holder must enter or leave the country as part of agroup.
In November 2000, the Chinese government announced that visitors do not need to apply for a visa if they
-are citizens of countries that have diplomatic relations with China
-hold ordinary passports
-are sightseeing in Hong Kong and/or Macao when they join in group tours sightseeing in the Zhujiang River (Pearl River) Delta Area for a stay of less than 6 days organized by travel services registered in Hong Kong or Macao.
The Zhujiang River (Pearl River) Delta Area includes the following cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou.