The result thrilled the hitherto sparse and quiet crowd at the venue on Hainan Island - and they could be rewarded with a clash between Ding and Marco Fu, two of the biggest players to emerge from the east in recent years, should the Hong Kong player beat Mark Williams.
There was no such joy for Ding's 15-year-old compatriot Lu Haotian, who was beaten 5-0 by world number two Mark Selby.
The reigning UK and Masters champion went 3-0 up with breaks of 52, 48 and 69 and then took the fourth frame with a composed 73 after Lu had been first in with 64.
A 57 and an exhibition clearance of 73 rubber-stamped Selby's passage to the last 16 where he will face Barry Hawkins, his conqueror at last year's World Championship.
Hawkins made breaks of 60, 93 and 112 in beating Ian Burns 5-1, while Nigel Bond received a bye after Ali Carter's withdrawal due to a recurrence of his Crohn's disease.