Yes, even in 2018, China persecutes Christians. China has a communist government that is atheistic. Recent Communist Party rules, against religion in general, are resulting in the persecution of Chinese Christians.
Consider: Atheism denies the existence of Almighty God. Christianity teaches that there is one God, Who created all things, including mankind. Christianity teaches that mankind has a fallen sinful nature, and that Christ is the Savior, the Redeemer of man.
Consider: Communism, as a political entity, is into extreme socialism. Chinese communism wants the Chinese people to look to the government instead of to the Creator for the fulfillment of daily essentials.
Fact: Man is a spiritual being. Mankind has a natural curiosity about the reason for existence and where man came from. Mankind has a spiritual vacuum inside that is crying out to be filled.
Fact: The atheistic communist party is incapable of fulfilling this very important need of mankind, but at the same time goes about to keep the Chinese people from anything religious.
Problem: By their very nature, atheistic Chinese Communism and Christianity are ideological enemies. This is why Christianity makes the Chinese Communist Party nervous.
China has been tearing down crosses from churches. They want every church to register with the government. They are putting heavy duty pressure on Christian Chinese children not to follow their religion. They close underground churches after finding them. They coerce churches to fly a Chinese flag over their church or to display a picture of the leader Xi Jinping.
You see, China does not allow freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. In other words, a person is not free to be their self in China. They must conform to the government, who replaces the Creator.