The Hainan Island crowd will have the second-round clash they wanted to see at the Haikou World Open after Ding Junhui and Marco Fu both won through.
Home favourite Ding came through a final-frame decider against Michael Holt in the early session, wrapping up his victory with a 50 break.
And Fu, from Hong Kong, then won 5-2 against a horribly out-of-sorts Mark Williams in the evening session.
Ding looked in top form early in the match as breaks of 76 and 95 saw the Chinese quickly open up a lead. Having been pegged back to 2-2 and then 3-3, a poor positional shot by Holt allowed Ding to make 65 starting with a double, but a break of 99 for Holt took the match to a decider.
Holt was unlucky not to leave the balls safe after missing a long red, but was punished after missing an easy red and then a plant from distance as Ding wrapped up a 5-4 win.
Ding said: "Michael played well and I did well in several frames. It's hard to play your best during the opening match of a tournament. But I'll try my best. I'm still bothered by jet lag and I have to go to bed early in the evening."
Later in the day, Williams moved 2-1 ahead with an 86 break but Fu levelled at the interval by winning a nervy fourth frame. He also took the fifth, Williams conceding with his opponent at the table after Fu ran out of position. The next was a tense affair, eventually won by Fu after Williams missed easy pots on blue and brown late in the frame.
There were defeats for the two 15-year-old Chinese wild cards, although Zhao Xintong put up an admirable fight against Stuart Bingham. Bingham led 3-0 but Zhao battled back, winning a close fourth frame and making short work of the fifth. The next was tense, Bingham finally winning playing the re-spotted black, and he took the next to win 5-2.
Lu Haotian was earlier beaten 5-0 by world number two Mark Selby. The reigning UK and Masters champion went 3-0 up with breaks of 52, 48 and 69 and then took the fourth frame with a composed 73 after Lu had been first in with 64. A 57 and an exhibition clearance of 73 rubber-stamped Selby's passage to the last 16.
Selby will face Barry Hawkins, who made breaks of 60, 93 and 112 in beating Ian Burns 5-1. John Higgins beat Alan McManus 5-3 and the day's other all-Scottish clash went Stephen Maguire's way as he saw off Marcus Campbell by the same scoreline. Nigel Bond received a bye after Ali Carter's withdrawal due to a recurrence of his Crohn's disease.