Ciganda climbed from a share of 26th place after round one to one shot off the lead held by South Korea's Inbee Park at Mission Hills.
Ciganda recorded nine birdies and did not drop a shot on the Sandbelt Trails course to climb to 10 under overall, while Park also had a brilliant round of 65.
Ciganda, 22, said on www.ladieseuropeantour.com: "It's one of my favourite places because I played well last year and it seems like I'm playing well this year so hopefully I can play good over the weekend and be at the top.
"I'm going to focus on my game and enjoy this beautiful golf course - enjoy China."
Ciganda has a three-shot advantage over a trio of players - Norway's Suzann Pettersen, Veronica Zorzi of Italy and Suh Bo-mi of Korea, who still has two holes of her second round to complete after fog delayed the start of play.