As the currently only available molluscicide, niclosamide has been widely used for snail control for over 2 decades in China. There is therefore a concern about the emergence of niclosamide-resistant snail populations following repeated, extensive use of the chemical. The purpose of this study was to investigate the likelihood of niclosamide resistance in Oncomelania hupensis in China. Active adult O. hupensis snails derived from 20 counties of 10 schistosomiasis-endemic provinces of China, of 10 snails in each drug concentration, were immersed in solutions of 1, 0·5, 0·25, 0·125, 0·063, 0·032, 0·016 and 0·008 mg L−1 of a 50% wettable powder of niclosamide ethanolamine salt (WPN) for 24 and 48 h at 25 °C, and the median lethal concentration (LC50) was estimated. Then, the 24- and 48-h WPN LC50 values were compared with those determined in the same sampling sites in 2002. The results indicated that the 24- and 48-h WPN LC50 values for O. hupensis were not significantly different from those determined in 2002 (P = 0·202 and 0·796, respectively). It is concluded that the current sensitivity of O. hupensis to niclosamide has not changed after more than 2 decades of repeated, extensive application in the main endemic foci of China, and there is no evidence of resistance to niclosamide detected in O. hupensis.