China has made great progress in malaria prevention and control, but there has been no research to provide a macroscopic overview of malaria research in China. This bibliometric analysis was conducted from international databases to explore the characteristics of malaria investigations in China. Published scientific papers about malaria were retrieved from China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang database, Cqvip and PubMed during 2004–2014. Year of publication, first-author affiliation, journal name and keywords were extracted with the Bibliographic Items Co-occurrence Matrix Builder (BICOMB). High-frequency keywords were selected to construct the co-word matrix and divided into eight categories. Sub-networks were utilized to analyse the complex knowledge structures. In recent ten years, a total of 5,126 entries were included. The number of papers on malaria started to increase since 2010. The papers published by top 12 Chinese journals in the field of malaria accounted for 32.98% in overall articles. Most of the studies were conducted by the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs). The words “malaria”, “imported malaria”, “falciparum malaria”, “vivax malaria” and “malaria surveillance” were the centers of knowledge structures. Chinese studies on malaria mainly focus on the epidemiology and biomedical fields, this study offers a systematic evaluation on the output of malaria studies and the elimination of malaria in China.