China executed more people in 2016 than all other nations combined, according to Amnesty International.
The human rights organisation estimates China killed "thousands" of people, a figure based on examinations of court records and news reports.
All other countries together executed 1,032 people last year - a 37% decrease in the number of executions carried out globally in 2016.
China was one of four countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, that were responsible for 87% of all executions last year, according to Amnesty.
China does not announce the number of people executed, guarding the data as a state secret.
Previous estimates from other rights groups also put the number of annual executions in China in the thousands.
Only a handful of countries still use the death penalty with regularity.
The United States executed 20 people last year, the lowest figure since 1991.
Most US executions took place in the states of Georgia and Texas, while 19 states have abolished the death penalty.