Introduction The standard EQ-5D-Y-3L valuation protocol applies DCE data as the primary preference source to model the relative importance of dimensions while cTTO data served to anchor the DCE coefficients onto the QALY scale. This study aims to estimate an EQ-5D-Y-3L value set for China following this protocol, but with a larger cTTO design to better understand the role of cTTO data in estimating EQ-5D-Y-3L value sets. Methods In total, 150 choice sets and 28 EQ-5D-Y-3L health states were valued using DCE and cTTO methods with two independent samples, respectively. General public from 14 different regions were recruited using quota sampling method to achieve representativeness. We compared two modelling strategies: (1) fit the DCE data with mixed logit model with correlated coefficients and a subsequent mapping procedure for anchoring; (2) fit the DCE and TTO data jointly in a hybrid model. Two evaluation criteria (1) coefficient significance and monotonicity; (2) prediction accuracy of the observed cTTO values were used to select the value set. Results In total, 1476 individuals participated in the study, with 1058 participated the DCE interview and 418 participated the cTTO interview. The highest mean TTO value was 0.924 for state 11112 and the lowest mean TTO value was − 0.088 for state 33333. The hybrid model with an A3 term performed the best and was selected as the value set. Discussion Following the international protocol and using a larger cTTO design, this study established the EQ-5D-Y-3L value set using a hybrid model for China. Future EQ-5D-Y-3L valuation study could consider using a larger cTTO design for estimating the value set.