The qinqin is a plucked lute originally with a wooden body, a slender fretted neck, and three strings. Its body can be either round, hexagonal , or octagonal. Often only two strings were used, as in certain regional silk-and-bamboo ensembles.
In recent years the instrument has been redesigned to have a skin resonator and often up to four strings.
The ''qinqin'' is particularly popular in southern China: in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. A similar instrument, the two-stringed ''&'', has been adapted from the ''qinqin'' for use in the traditional music of southern Vietnam.