Prior to 1966, the leading mass organizations, all closely tied to the regime, were the Communist Youth League, the Women's Federation, the Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the Federation of Scientific Societies, and the Federation of Industry and Commerce. These bodies were to some extent eclipsed by the Cultural Revolution, which spawned a host of new groups. After the Cultural Revolution passed its peak, many of the new organizations lost ground, while local Communist Youth League organizations, including the Young Pioneers, gained prestige. By the mid-1980s, the pre-Cultural Revolution groups were once again ascendant.
There are professional and trade organizations representing a wide variety of professional fields. The All China Federation of Industry and Commerce promotes international trade. The All China Federation of Trade Unions serves as an advocate for worker's rights and benefits, particularly for women. The Asia Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organization (APOSHO) is located in Hong Kong. There are also several organizations dedicated to research and education in various fields of medicine and science. The China National Association of Literature and Fine Arts is based in Taiwan.
National women's organizations include the Association for the Advancement of Feminism (AAF), based in Hong Kong and the All China Women's Federation, based in Beijing. A wide variety of sports organizations are active throughout the country, including the Chinese Table Tennis Association, which has gained international recognition. The largest youth association is the umbrella organization the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), which is led by the Communist Party of China. Member organizations include the Rural Young Entrepreneurs Association, the Association for Young Journalists, the Communist Youth League (CYL) of China, the All-China Students Federation (ACSF), the YMCA and YWCA, and the Chinese Young Entrepreneurs Association (CYEA). Scouting groups exist in Hong Kong and Macau.