McClain was discovered in 2005 by a music executive who heard her sing and encouraged director Rob Hardy to audition her for his 2005 feature film The Gospel. Her role caught the attention of Tyler Perry, who cast her as Jazmine Payne in the television series Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
She appears in the movie Daddy's Little Girls with her sisters, Sierra and Lauryn, who are also actresses and play her older sisters in the film. Her father, Michael McClain, is a music producer. Her mother, Shontell, is a songwriter. McClain appeared in and guest starred in various other shows and movies such as Hannah Montana with Sierra McCormick, NCIS and the 2009 film Hurricane Season. Jonas L.A. was also a Disney Channel shows she was on. She also appeared in the movie Grown Ups as Charlotte McKenzie. In the same year when she landed a recurring role.
McClain appeared on the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place in 2011 as Tina in one episode entitled "Wizards vs. Angels". In 2011, McClain was cast as the lead role in the Disney Channel series A.N.T. Farm. She has appeared in an episode of PrankStars. She also appeared in the Chiddy Bang Opposite Of Adults music video.
For the show, McClain recorded a cover of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite". She also sings the series theme song, "Exceptional". China Anne's first music video, for "Dynamite", premiered on July 23, 2011 on Disney Channel. After less than a week, more than 1 million views on YouTube were reported. For the Disney Channel Halloween special in 2011, she performed the song, "Calling All The Monsters".
The A.N.T. Farm soundtrack was released on October 11, 2011, featuring China Anne's version of "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz. On September 28, 2011, China Anne released "Calling All The Monsters" to iTunes. "Calling All The Monsters" charted number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On November 24, 2011, China performed her song "Unstoppable" in the 85th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
McClain was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her family.