The patient died Sunday in Guizhou province in the southwest after being hospitalized on Jan. 6, the health ministry said in a brief statement. It said the flu was highly pathogenic but gave no indication whether it was confirmed to be the H5N1 strain.
Mainland officials told Hong Kong authorities the patient was a 39-year-old man who reported having no contact with poultry, government-run Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK said. It gave no other details of his identity.
The health ministry statement said 71 people who had contact with the patient showed no unusual symptoms.
China suffered its first bird flu fatality in 18 months when a bus driver in Shenzhen, a city that borders Hong Kong, died Dec. 31.
Last week, Vietnam reported its first bird flu fatality in nearly two years -- an 18-year-old man who worked on a duck farm.
In Cambodia, a 2-year-old boy died last week after reportedly having contact with sick poultry in his village, according to the World Health Organization.
Indonesia also has reported one bird flu death this year.
WHO says that as of Friday, there have been 343 human deaths from 582 confirmed bird flu cases worldwide since 2003. Some 27 of those deaths were in China and 60 in Vietnam.