The blue-chip CSI300 index closed 0.2 per cent down at 3,831.01 while the Shanghai Composite Index also lost 0.2 per cent to 3,109.50 points.
Healthcare stocks led the decline, with Aier Eye Hospital down 4.5 per cent, as investors booked profits after a strong run-up.
Focus continued to be on trade talks between China and US
China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that the country does not want an escalation of trade frictions with the United States, and that some specific progress was made in the latest round of talks that concluded over the weekend.
Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.47 per cent while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.87 per cent.
At 07:00 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.392 per US dollar, 0.03 per cent weaker than the previous close of 6.3898.
The biggest per centage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Anyang Iron & Steel Inc, up 10.09 per cent, followed by Ningbo Techmation Co Ltd, up 10.05 per cent, and Riyue Heavy Industry Co Ltd, up 10.01 per cent.
The largest per centage losses in the Shanghai index were Guangzhou Jiacheng International Logistics Co Ltd, down 9.17 per cent, followed by Jason Furniture Hangzhou Co Ltd , down 6.18 per cent, and Wuxi Acryl Technology Co Ltd , down 6.12 per cent.
So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 6 per cent, the CSI300 has fallen 5 per cent while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 5.9 per cent. Shanghai stockshave risen 0.44 per cent this month.
About 12.78 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 95.4 per cent of the market's 30-day moving average of 13.39 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 12.02 billion.
As of 07:01 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.16 per cent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.
The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving and 200-day moving averages.
The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 13.35 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2.5 per cent.
So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.30 per cent to 32.24 trillion yuan.