The former world No. 1 and 2011 U.S. Open runner-up was scheduled to play in Beijing, but the tournament website said the American star failed to show up on Friday, the day she was due to arrive.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion Williams returned to the WTA tour in June after being sidelined by a series of health issues for 11 months. She lost to Aussie Samantha Stosur in this month's U.S. Open final and lost her composure with the chair umpire in the process, which wound up leading to a minor $2,000 fine.
The 2011 China Open will commence Saturday in Beijing.