Nicolas Prost will start the inaugural Formula E Championship race from pole position.
Prost, who drives for the e.dams team in which his four-time Formula 1 world champion father Alain is one of the partners, set a best time of 1m42.200s during the third of the four five-car mini sessions on the Beijing street circuit.
The Frenchman claimed the top spot by just over a tenth of a second from Abt driver Lucas di Grassi, who also set his 1m42.306s lap in the third session.
Prost said: "It feels fantastic to be on pole.
"My first lap was very good and my second was even better, but I messed it up on my own."
Prost locked up in the braking zone for the penultimate corner and nudged the wall without damage to his Spark-Renault SRT_01E.
He had been five tenths up after the first two sectors prior to his mistake.
Daniel Abt, another third-session qualifer, put the second Audi Sport-supported Abt entry third on the grid with a time a further one tenth down on his team-mate.
Karun Chandhok ended up fourth on a 1m42.454s after going quickest in the opening session in his Carlin-run Mahindra entry.
Franck Montagny and Nick Heidfeld, who respectively drive for the Andretti and Venturi teams, ended up fifth and sixth with times set in the final session.
The field is split into four for qualifying after the drivers draw lots.
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|2||Lucas di Grassi||Abt||1m42.306s||0.106s|
|10||Nelson Piquet Jr.||China||1m42.785s||0.585s|