China has announced a ban on all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017.
Conservation groups hailed the decision as “historic” and a “game-changer” for the future of elephants.
China has the biggest ivory market in the world – some estimates suggest 70% of the world’s trade ends up there.
Ivory can reach $1,100 (£850) per kilogram in China.
China’s State Council announced the details of the ban on Friday.
The commercial processing and sale of ivory will stop by 31 March.
While the international market in ivory has been closed since 1989, legal domestic markets have continued in many countries around the world.
A surge in the killing of elephants over the past seven years has seen populations across Africa shrink by a third, according to the recently published Great Elephant Census.