Modern radio time service of China dates back to BPV time code of observatory of Xu Jiahui, Purple Mountain of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1950s.
In 1960s, in consideration of strategic needs, the State decided to build up a complete special Time Service Station in China's hinterland. In 1966, the State Science and Technology Commission approved the Chinese Academy of Sciences to build up Northwest Time Service Observatory (namely Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory) in GuanZhong, Shaanxi Province.
In 1970, the Short-Wave Time Service Station (BPM) was established and started trial broadcast upon the approval of Premier Zhou Enlai.
In the early 1970s, in order to meet the needs of the national technology development, additional Long-Wave Time Service Station (BPL) was established upon the approval of the State Council. The Middle-Power Time Service Station was established and made trial broadcast in 1979. The High-Power Time Service Station was established and started time service in 1983, and officially started broadcasting standard time and standard frequency signal after passing the national technology appraisal organized by the State Science and Technology Commission in 1986. The achievement won the first prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress in 1988.
When building up the Long-Wave Time Service Station in 1970s, Photoelectric Transit Instrument, Photoelectric Astrolabe and other astronomical test systems were also being prepared to construct by the ShaanXi Astronomical Observatory; Time Reference System consisting of China-made Hydrogen Atomic Clock and Rubidium Atomic Clock were set up in the same year.
In October 1979, a relatively complete and independent system of Atomic Time TA (CSAO) was built up in China, which completed the transition from astronomical time to the atomic time.
In January 1981, NTSC formally joined in the international atomic time basis calculation, gradually established cooperation relationship with international relevant institutions (BIH, BIPM, and ITU).
In 1980s, various means of international and domestic time comparison technology were developed; Signal Detection System of Long and Short Wave Time Service was set up; the first Joint Atomic Time System of China(JATC) was built up by NTSC together with related domestic institutions; The Atomic Time System and BPL/BPM Long and Short-Wave Time Service Station initially formed up China's independent Time Service System, which made very significant and irreplaceable contribution to the national science and technology development.
In 1990s, BPC Low-frequency Time Code Test Station was set up by NTSC jointly with enterprises, telephone time service and network time service means were developed then, which further expanded and improved the existing time system to meet the large-scale civilian needs of middle and low accuracy time-frequency service.
June 16, 2000, Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory initiated innovative pilot work as the first pilot unit of the knowledge innovation project of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In 2001, Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory was renamed as National Time Service Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences approved by the Central Institutional Organization Commission.
In 2006, the direction project of CAS"Research of Establishment and Maintenance of the Joint Atomic Time System of China" passed the conclusion inspection.
In 2007, BPC Shangqiu low-frequency time code continuous broadcast station was set up and made trial broadcasting.
In 2007, system technology transformation of Lintong - Pucheng microwave time transmission was completed and put into use.
In 2008, modernization and transformation of BPL long-wave time Service system was completed and began broadcasting 24 hours continuously, greatly improved the BPL long-wave time Service full-time time service capability, fully automatic time service was implemented and provided to the users.