The business connections between Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai and other major world cities are investigated using the interlocking network model based upon the location strategies of advanced producer service firms. This approach emphasises non-hierarchical relations between cities. A key new finding is that city-dyad analysis enhances the prominence of these China cities compared with simple ranking by total global network connectivity. This suggests that Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing have developed more strategically important roles in the world city network than previously understood. Yet the geographies of these links are distinctive, with Shanghai shown to be better connected to the more important world cities such as London and New York than Beijing; and Beijing is found to be better connected to political world cities such as Washington and Brussels, and to other Pacific Asian cities, than Shanghai. The results are interpreted as suggestions for developing a new research programme.