Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are recognized as causal agents in a wide range of human diseases. However, researchers lack sufficient data on the exact HAdV species and serotypes associated with adult acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). To detect and characterize HAdV infections in adults in China, clinical specimens were collected from 10,310 adults with ARTIs from May 2005 to July 2010. The partial HAdV hexon gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), sequenced, and phylogenetically analyzed. HAdVs were detected in 86 samples (0.8%), of which 67 (77.9%) were species B (HAdV-3, -7, -11, and -14), 7 (8.1%) were species C (HAdV-1, -2, and -6), and 12 (14%) were species E (HAdV-4). HAdV-3 was the most frequently detected serotype (41/86, 47.7%), followed by HAdV-7 (13/86, 15.1%), HAdV-4 (12/86, 14.0%), and HAdV-11 (11/86, 12.8%). Patients 14-25 years old (60.5%) exhibited a higher rate of adenovirus detection than older patients. Co-infections with other respiratory viruses were observed in samples positive for HAdV species B and E. Human rhinovirus was the most commonly found virus in patients with HAdV infection. These findings provide baseline data for the surveillance and control of HAdV infection in China.