Beijing residents reported feeling the tremors following the quake in Langfang City, in Hebei province.
CGTN reported the magnitude as 4.4, while Xinhua said 4.3.
Rebecca Davis, an AFP journalist, tweeted: “Magnitude 4.4 in Langfang, Hebei, some 60 km outside of Beijing, but we felt our 20+ story office building sway”.
There were no immediate reports of any damage. Buildings in Beijing shook slightly.
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China is frequently hit by earthquakes, many centred in the south-west of the country.
Northern China is much more rarely affected, but in 1976 the Tangshan earthquake, east of Beijing, killed up to 300,000 people.
Monday’s quake hit at a depth of 10km, according to the US Geological Survey, which assigned it a magnitude of 4.6.