||Effective and timely quantification of the spatiotemporal pattern of urban expansion in China is important for the assessment of its environmental effects. However, the dynamics of the most recent urban expansions in China since 2012 have not yet been adequately explained due to a lack of current information. In this paper, our objective was to quantify spatiotemporal patterns of urban expansion in China between 1992 and 2015. First, we extracted information on urban expansion in China between 1992 and 2015 by integrating nighttime light data, vegetation index data, and land surface temperature data. Then we analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of urban expansion at the national and regional scales, as well as at that of urban agglomerations. We found that China experienced a rapid and large-scale process of urban expansion between 1992 and 2015, with urban land increasing from 1.22 x 104 km2 to 7.29 x 104 km2, increasing in size nearly fivefold and with an average annual growth rate of 8.10%, almost 2.5 times as rapid as the global average. We also found that urban land in China expanded mainly by occupying 3.31 x 104 km2 of cropland, which comprised 54.67% of the total area of expanded urban land. Among the three modes of growth-infilling, edge expansion, and leapfrog-edge expansion was the main cause of cropland loss. Cropland loss resulting from edge expansion of urban land totalled 2.51 x 104 km2, accounting for over 75% of total cropland loss. We suggest that effective future management with respect to edge expansion of urban land is needed to protect cropland in China.