This paper aims at an investigation of the features of bacterial communities in surface sediments of the South China Sea (SCS). In particular, biogeographical distribution patterns and the phylogenetic diversity of bacteria found in sediments collected from a coral reef platform, a continental slope, and a deep-sea basin were determined. Bacterial diversity was measured by an observation of 16S rRNA genes, and 18 phylogenetic groups were identified in the bacterial clone library. Planctomycetes, Deltaproteobacteria, candidate division OP11, and Alphaproteobacteria made up the majority of the bacteria in the samples, with their mean bacterial clones being 16%, 15%, 12%, and 9%, respectively. By comparison, the bacterial communities found in the SCS surface sediments were significantly different from other previously observed deep-sea bacterial communities. This research also emphasizes the fact that geographical factors have an impact on the biogeographical distribution patterns of bacterial communities. For instance, canonical correspondence analyses illustrated that the percentage of sand weight and water depth are important factors affecting the bacterial community composition. Therefore, this study highlights the importance of adequately determining the relationship between geographical factors and the distribution of bacteria in the world`s seas and oceans.