New world champion Judd Trump will make his first competitive appearance since his epic Crucible victory at the International Championship in Daqing in August.
The excitement over the return of Trump, the 2019 Dafabet masters champion, will be tempered by the news that world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan will not be travelling out to China for the tournament.
Mark Allen won it last year – beating Neil Robertson 10-5 in the final. The Northern Irishman has been placed in the first quarter of the draw, which also features seeded names Barry Hawkins, Ding Junhui and Ryan Day while much local interest will surround Yan Bingtao.
The teenager reached the last 16 of the event last year, going down 6-1 to Trump. The second quarter includes Robertson and John Higgins, who was beaten in the World Championship final for the second year in a row last April.
Other top-16 players Shaun Murphy and Stuart Bingham are also in this section, together with eight Chinese players capable of pulling off surprises.
Mark Williams and Mark Selby have been drawn in the third quarter while Trump, who is 4.20 to retain his World Championship crown in 2020, is joined by good friends Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski in the fourth section of the draw.
The qualifiers will take place in Sheffield later this month with 64 heading out to China to compete for the £175,000 top prize during the final stages in August.