The magnitude-5.5 quake struck at early Monday afternoon near the town of Ruoqiang in the vast but lightly populated region. Homes were damaged, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Only about 1,000 people live in the area, Xinhua said.
Xinjiang is one of China's most seismically active regions, although the country's deadliest quake in recent years struck to the south in the province of Sichuan in 2008. That massive magnitude-7.9 quake left 90,000 people dead or missing, including thousands of students whose schools collapsed.