What is now known as Chinese Mathematical Olympiad was established in 1986 and was initially called \“Winter Camp\“. The olympiad is organized in the IMO format and takes place in late January or early February. Nevertheless, mathematical competitions in China have a much longer tradition. Various competitions such as Beijing Mathematical Olympiad seem to be held since some 60 years ago.
China at International Competitions
China has participated at the IMO since 1985. The IMO team is selected through a selection test in April and a number of smaller competitions during the training program held afterwards. In fact, participation at the IMO is for a Chinese student much more than just a competition - it secures admission for one of prestigeous universities in China which is normally, in a country of more than a billion people, extremely difficult to get otherwise. No wonder that the best, umm... the worst ranking of a Chinese team at the recent IMOs was the 6-th place in 1996.