Hennie Otto had seven birdies and an eagle in an opening round of 63 on Thursday to lead the China Open at 9 under.
It was Otto's lowest round in a European Tour event since he won the 2014 Italian Open.
The 39-year-old South African started on the 10th and had three birdies before turning in 33, then added birdies at the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th before chipping in for eagle on the par-5 8th.
Bernd Wiesberger of Austria had eight birdies and a bogey for a 65 and was two shots behind.
Gregory Bourdy of France, Sweden's Peter Hanson, Roope Kakko of Finland and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti had a share of third spot at 6 under.
Joost Luiten, who has finished second in his last two events, including the Shenzhen Open last weekend, was in a three way share of seventh at 5 under.
Rikard Karlberg won a Volvo car when he holed out with a seven iron on the 212-yard, par-3 16th for a hole-in-one during his 69.
Defending champion Wu Ashun, who became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil last year, opened with a 71.