A fragment of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (approximately 700 bp) was sequenced in 104 individuals from 20 breeds (three Chinese domestic breeds, five recently derived breeds and 12 introduced breeds) of domestic rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus. Nineteen sites were polymorphic, with 18 transitions and one insertion/deletion, and eight haplotypes (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8) were identified. Haplotype A1 was the most common and occurred in 89 individuals. In the 25 Chinese rabbits, only haplotype A1 was observed, while four haplotypes (A1, A3, A5 and A6) were found in 26 recently derived individuals. Haplotype A2 was shared by seven individuals among three introduced strains. The other six haplotypes accounted for 0.96-1.92% of the animals. Combined with the published sequences of European rabbits, a reduced median-joining network was constructed. The Chinese rabbit mtDNAs were scattered into two clusters of European rabbits. These results suggest that the (so-called) Chinese rabbits were introduced from Europe. Genetic diversity in Chinese rabbits was very low.