Detailed analysis of the distribution of archaeocyaths in five lower Cambrian sections in South China has resulted in the erection of four new archaeocyathan zones and one new archaeocyathan bed. Listed in order of ascending age, these are: the Dailycyathus xiuqiensis Zone; the Dictyocyathus shaanxiensis Zone; the Spirillicyathus duplex Range Zone; the Sibirecyathus meitanensis Range Zone; and the Archaeocyathus yanjiaoensis beds. These new subdivisions permit a correlation of lower Cambrian strata both within the area of the Yangtze Platform (South China) as well as between this region and Siberia, Australia, Western Europe and North America. Within the Yangtze Platform area, archaeocyaths of the Dailycyathus xiuqiensis and Dictyocyathus shaanxiensis zones co-occur with trilobites of the middle and upper Eoredlichia Trilobite Zone of the Qiongzhusian Stage. The Spirillicyathus duplex and the Sibirecyathus meitanensis Range Zone correspond to the Malungia, Yiliangella–Yunnanaspis and Drepanuroides Trilobite zones of the basal and middle Canglangpuan Stage, respectively. Finally, the Archaeocyathus yanjiaoensis beds belong to the Palaeolenus fengyangensis Trilobite Zone of the upper Canglangpuan Stage. Global correlations based on archaeocyath assemblage zones suggest that: (1) the middle–upper Qiongzhusian of South China correlates with the middle Atdabanian Stage of the Siberian Platform, the Warriootacyathus wilkawillinensis Archaeocyath Zone in South Australia, the middle Issendalenian Stage of Morocco and the lower Ovetian Stage in Spain; (2) the lowermost Canglangpuan Stage of South China correlates with the uppermost Atdabanian of the Siberian Platform, the Spirillicyathus tenuis – Jugalicyathus tardus archaeocyath zones in South Australia, the uppermost Issendalenian – lower Banian stages of Morocco, the middle Ovetian Stage of Spain and the middle Montezuman Stage of North America; (3) the middle Canglangpuan Stage approximates the lowermost Botoman Stage of the Siberian Platform, middle Banian Stage of Morocco, the uppermost Ovetian – lowermost Marianian stages of Spain and the upper Montezuman Stage of North America; (4) the uppermost Canglangpuan Stage is equivalent of the middle Toyonian Stage of the Siberian Platform, Archaeocyathus abacus beds in Australia, the middle Bilbilian Stage in Spain and the middle Dyeran Stage (Bolbolenellus euryparia Trilobite Zone) in North America.