(CNN) -- Deng Zhuoxiang scored the only goal of the match as China handed France a 1-0 defeat in Les Blues final match before the World Cup finals.
Playing on the French island of Reunion for the first time in their history, Raymond Domenech's men controlled the game but fell victim to a swerving free kick from Deng in the 68th minute.
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was deceived by the flight of Deng's strike with the new World Cup ball.
Domenech, who will stand down as French coach after the finals, was not impressed by his side's performance against a team who did not make South Africa.
"I'm disappointed. Losing a match, even a friendly, even a World Cup preparation match, is never nice," he told AFP.
"Now we have to analyze the match. I'm disappointed, particularly for the players and the public. But the World Cup is not today. It starts on June 11."
France beat Costa Rica and tied with Tunisia in their other warm-up matches ahead of the finals.
The 2006 runners-up to Italy travel to South Africa on Saturday and begin their campaign in Group A against Uruguay on June 11.
They will be hoping for a more convincing performance than they managed against the Chinese, with plenty of possession but few shots on target.
Franck Ribery and Yoann Gourcuff had long-range shots saved while Williams Gallas had a backheel ruled out for offside and also headed narrowly wide.
Franck Ribery was the biggest threat before being replaced on the hour while Thierry Henry and Abou Diaby came on as substitutes, but it was Deng who scored with his side's only shot on target in the game.
In other World Cup warmup action on Friday, Slovenia beat New Zealand 3-1.