Bernd Wiesberger fired a stunning bogey-free 65 to open up a four-shot lead midway through day two of the Shenzhen International before play was suspended due to the threat of lightning.
The Austrian has been in brilliant form over the last eight months having not missed a cut while claiming seven top-five finishes as he seeks a fourth European Tour title.
He began the day two shots behind overnight leader Bubba Watson but birdied the 17th as he completed his first round and added a further seven gains in round two to get to 12 under as the rain fell at Genzon Golf Club.
Dylan Frittelli and Thorbjørn Olesen emerged as his closest challengers with Richie Ramsay a further shot back, one clear of George Coetzee, Scott Jamieson and Jordan Smith.
An hour and 50 minutes was lost to delays on day one and the hooter sounded once again at 14.40 on Friday as storms began to move into the area.
Wiesberger made birdies on the 13th and 14th to get to seven under and join Thongchai Jaidee, who had gains on the same holes, in top spot.
The Thai then dropped a shot on the next but regained it on the 17th as Olesen began to make his way through the field.
The Dane birdied the tenth and 12th and when he added another on the 16th, he was in a share of the lead, before Frittelli made an even bigger move.
Having started the day alongside Olesen at four under, the South African made a gain on the third before a hat-trick of birdies from the ninth catapulted him into the lead on his own.
A double-bogey on the 15th stalled his progress and with Olesen dropping a shot on the 18th, the door was open to Wiesberger.
He burst through it, birdieing the 17th and first as Frittelli set the clubhouse target at eight under after making a gain on the penultimate hole.
Olesen also bounced back with birdies on the second and sixth but Wiesbrger made further gains on the first, fourth, seventh and ninth to open up a four-shot advantage.
Scotsman Ramsay started with a bogey on the tenth but three birdies in a row saw him bounce back and he turned in 33 with another on the 17th. He then bogeyed the fifth but rallied again with gains on the seventh and eighth.
Countryman Jamieson had turned in 32 after a quick start with birdies on the first, second and fourth and, while he dropped a shot on the sixth, three birdies in four holes from the seventh had him in the group four shots off the lead before a double-bogey on the last.
South African Coetzee carded a remarkable round with an eagle and seven birdies but also a double and a triple-bogey.
England's Smith made two birdies in his final three holes to sign for a 69.
Jaidee double-bogeyed the first to come back in 38 and sit at five under alongside Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, who signed for a 70.