Fabio Cannavaro replaced fellow Italian Marcello Lippi as head coach of China, it was announced on Friday.
Cannavaro, 45, will continue as coach of Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, while juggling his China commitments.
Lippi stepped down following China's AFC Asian Cup exit in January, though the 70-year-old former Italy boss will remain as a consultant.
"The association has carefully made this decision based on comprehensive research of his experience and technical and tactical style, familiarity with Chinese players and other factors," the Chinese Football Association said.
Cannavaro will take charge of his first international match on Thursday, when China host Thailand in the China Cup.
The former Italy captain, who returned to Evergrande in 2017 having been sacked in 2015, has overseen two wins from two matches in the CSL this season.