© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Objective There is a high prevalence of poor glycaemic control among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in China. This study aimed to explore both organisational and individual characteristics associated with glycaemic control among patients with T2DM. Design Cross-sectional survey. Setting Shandong Province, China. Participants The participants were 2166 patients with T2DM and 337 healthcare providers from 36 urban communities and 36 rural villages in Shandong Province. Primary and secondary outcome measures Multistage stratified sampling procedures were used to measure demand-side individual demographic, clinical and self-management characteristics, and supply-side organisational characteristics, and the status of glycaemic control. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed to assess key determinants of glycaemic control. Results Only 42.8% of the patients with T2DM achieved good glycaemic control. Age, income, hypertension and self-efficacy were significantly positive predictors of optimal glycaemic control, while duration of diabetes, antidiabetic drugs and monitoring of blood glucose were significantly negative predictors of that. Private VCs (OR=0.48, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.82, p<0.01) and lack of healthcare providers (OR=0.69, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.89, p<0.01; OR=0.71, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.98, p<0.05) were significantly negative predictors of optimal glycaemic control, while diabetes knowledge level of healthcare providers (OR=1.36, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.83, p<0.05; OR=1.45, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.10, p<0.05) and kinds of antidiabetic drugs (OR=1.37, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.93, p<0.1; OR=1.46, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.00, p<0.05) were significantly positive predictors of that. Conclusions Glycaemic control was suboptimal among patients with T2DM in China. The determinants of failing to achieve good glycaemic control included both organisational and individual characteristics. Potential interventions that target patients, providers and the healthcare organisations should be taken to improve the glycaemic control and health outcome among patients with T2DM.