The great demographic pressure brings tremendous volume of beef demand. The key to solve this problem is the growth and development of Chinese cattle. In order to find molecular markers conducive to the growth and development of Chinese cattle, sequencing was used to determine the position of copy number variations (CNVs), bioinformatics analysis was used to predict the function of ZNF146 gene, real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used for CNV genotyping and one-way analysis of variance was used for association analysis. The results showed that there exists CNV in Chr 18: 47225201-47229600 (5.0.1 version) of ZNF146 gene through the early sequencing results in the laboratory and predicted ZNF146 gene was expressed in liver, skeletal muscle and breast cells, and was amplified or overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, which promoted the development of tumour through bioinformatics. Therefore, it is predicted that ZNF146 gene affects the proliferation of muscle cells, and then affects the growth and development of cattle. Furthermore, CNV genotyping of ZNF146 gene was three types (deletion type, normal type and duplication type) by Real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR (qPCR). The association analysis results showed that ZNF146-CNV was significantly correlated with rump length of Qinchuan cattle, hucklebone width of Jiaxian red cattle and heart girth of Yunling cattle. From the above results, ZNF146-CNV had a significant effect on growth traits, which provided an important candidate molecular marker for growth and development of Chinese cattle.