East China is among the fastest developing area in Asia, where atmospheric aerosol loading is high due to heavy urban and industrial emission. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) level 2 aerosol products (2000–2007) were used to study aerosol spatial and temporal distributions, as well as their variations with local meteorological conditions over East China. By combining Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and aerosol Fine Mode Fraction (FMF), we found that the urban/industrial aerosol and soil dust are possibly two dominant species over northern part, whereas continental and marine aerosols possibly dominate the southern part of East China. Both annual mean AOD and area with high AOD increased from 2000 to 2007, with the largest increase seen in Yangtze River Delta region (YRD). In summer, AOD in East China reached the maximum of about 0.8 in YRD, dominated by fine mode particles. The minimum AOD occurred in winter with mostly coarse mode particles. Local aerosol properties were analyzed in three typical zones: the northern dry zone (I), the central urban/industrial zone (II) and the southern natural background zone (III). Monthly mean AODs in zone I and II were above 0.5 throughout the entire year, with the maximum AOD in June. High FMFs in this period indicated heavy urban and industrial pollution. Monthly mean AODs and FMFs in zone III reached maximum of 0.51 in April and September (up to 90.7%) respectively. High AOD in spring in zone III appears mostly due to the long-range dust transport from the North.