A total of twenty-seven species of marine-living coccolithophores were recorded from seawater samples that were collected during two spring cruises along the shelf regions of the Yellow Sea (YS) and the East China Sea (ECS). They were classified into ten families and four orders, with some additional species incertae sedis. Most of these species were heterococcolithophores, and no holococcolithophores were examined from the YS waters. Six species were recorded for the first time from the coastal waters of the China Seas and their morphological characteristics are described and photographically illustrated in this paper. They were Cyrtosphaera lecaliae, Syracosphaera histrica, Syracosphaera marginaporata, Pappomonas cf. sp. type 3, Calyptrolithophora papillifera and Corisphaera strigilis. Three types of Emiliania huxleyi, type A, type B/C and type C, were examined. Species of the genus Syracosphaera, in addition to E. huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica, frequently occurred at the surveyed sites. The coccolithophore assemblages in the offshore waters of the ECS were characterized by high species diversity—fourteen species in one sample. This finding indicated that the shelf waters adjacent to the Kuroshio path were ideal habitats for living coccolithophores. The variation in taxonomic composition of these algae could be associated with differences in their preferred habitats.