Based on 683 valid questionnaires collected among a convenience sample of social workers from Hong Kong, Macau and three other cities in mainland China, this study investigated the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the three-item ultra-short Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (C-UWES-3). The results of confirmatory factor analyses supported the discriminant validity of C-UWES-3 by differentiating its three items from other five items measuring emotional exhaustion and role ambiguity. The concurrent validity of C-UWES-3 was supported by its superior explanatory power to the original nine-item version of the scale (C-UWES-9) in relation to explaining social workers’ turnover intention. The convergent validity of C-UWES-3 was supported by its correlations vis-à-vis factors in the job demands-resources model such as job demands, job resources, turnover intention and collective psychological ownership. The C-UWES-3 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.81). Overall, the C-UWES-3 demonstrates excellent psychometric properties for informing future research.