In February winter is still in full swing in North China. There is not much change in February from January weather in the North. In Central China, it is slightly warmer than in January. Signs of spring begin to appear by the end of February in Central and South China.
Layers are essential for winter travel.
North: It is freezing. Warm clothes such as overcoats, long underwear, and fleeces are recommended.
Central: The temperature is around 0°C (32°F). A down jacket and a wind-proof jacket are needed.
South: It is warmer. Long sleeves and pants, and a wind-proof jacket are recommended. Thermals are often worn indoors on the coldest days, as there is usually no central heating in the South.
It is very cold in North China, and cold and humid in Central China and parts of South China.
The New Year period (January 23 to February 6, 2012) and a week or so before, sees huge crowds in transit everywhere in China. The major transportation hubs such as airports, railway stations and bus terminals get overcrowded. Trains in general are likely to be fully booked days in advance, certain popular flights may be sold out, and even regional and municipal buses can be so packed they don't stop. Shopping malls are often teeming with life, while public gatherings and processions can fill up plazas and block sidewalks. See Chinese New Year Travel Guide
The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is held from January 5th to the February 15th. If you visit Harbin in February, you may catch the last two weeks, and have a chance to see some of the world's best ice sculptures, which usually glisten into March after the close of the festival.
Ski resorts have grown rapidly in recent years around Beijing, partly in response to the increasingly large expat community in the city. Today there are more than 10 ski resorts. See Ski Resorts in Beijing.
Hainan Island is well-known to Chinese tourists, and it is beginning to be known by foreign holiday makers for its sunny beaches and pleasant winter. For winter travelers, Hainan is not unlike Hawaii for US citizens; it serves as a tropical oasis to escape the frozen winter. See Beaches in Hainan.