Hugh Jackman will join Jeon Ji-Hyunand and Li Bingbing in director Wayne Wang's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, the trades report.
While local media called his role the male lead, Jackman's publicist told The Hollywood Reporter that "at this point in time, he is doing an unbilled cameo."
This would be Jackman's first project in China, adding him to a growing list of Hollywood stars who are heading East to work in the world's fastest-growing movie market. Kevin Spacey recently joined Chinese film Inseparable.
The English-language Snow Flower is an adaptation of Lisa See's novel about love between two women and the rigid codes that govern their friendship in 19th century China. Wendi Murdoch, wife of Rupert Murdoch, and Florence Sloan, wife of MGM chairman Harry Sloan, are co-producing.
Shooting began this week in Hengdian studios in Zhejiang province.
Zhang Ziyi was originally due to star in the film and serve as co-producer, but the actress dropped out last month.
Wang is best-known for directing Smoke and Blue in the Face.