Two surveys show that Chinese manufacturing remained weak last month, adding to pressure on Beijing for more economic stimulus.
An official index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers edged up to 50.2 in May from 50.1 the month before.
The index released Monday was carried out by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
Separately, HSBC's manufacturing index by HSBC fell to 49.2 from 49.8 in April for a third straight month of contraction.
Both purchasing manager indexes are based on a 100-point scale, with numbers below 50 indicating contraction.
The latest data on China's outsize manufacturing industry, which employs many millions of people, may help spur policymakers in Beijing to roll out more measures to keep economic growth on target.