Korean K.J. Choi and The Shark, Greg Norman, are among four players tied for second place at 5-under-par 67. They are joined there by American Gregory Hanrahan and Prayad Marksaeng from Thailand.
Dyson began his round on the 10th tee at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club. He wasted no time in getting into red figures as he birdied his first hole. He then dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 13th to move to minus-3.
The Englishman tripped up to his lone bogey at the par-4 15th. He atoned for that mistake with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
Around the turn, Dyson dropped in his fifth birdie of the day at the second. He came back with a birdie at the sixth to climb to 5 under and capped his round with a birdie at the ninth to claim first place.
'It's nice to be leading by one over Greg Norman,' said Dyson. 'I putted really well and never missed a thing. It just felt great.'
Choi, a regular on the United States PGA Tour, managed just one birdie over his first six holes. After a bogey at the seventh dropped him back to even par for his round, Choi ran off three straight birdies from the eighth.
The Korean stumbled to another bogey at the par-3 12th. He rebounded with back-to-back birdies from the 13th. Choi grabbed a share of second place with a birdie at the last.
Norman, who has been inactive most of the year, has made just four starts on the American PGA Tour and just one previous start on the European Tour. He began on the back side Thursday and picked up birdies at the 11th and 13th.
The Australian moved to 3 under with a birdie at the 18th. Norman grabbed a share of second place when he dropped in back-to-back birdies from the par-4 fourth. He parred his final four holes to close out a bogey-free round.
'Before I left home I felt pretty good about my golf swing,' said the 49-year-old Norman. 'Sometimes the travel is not great on my back, but I've felt pretty good, which makes me relaxed in my mind about being able to play.'
Marksaeng birdied the par-4 11th for the only birdie on his opening nine. He slipped to 1 over with a double bogey at the par-5 second. Things got better from there, however.
He dropped in a birdie at the par-3 third and came back with a birdie at the fifth. Marksaeng then eagled the par-4 seventh, before notching back-to-back birdies from the eighth.
Hanrahan also began his day on the back nine and got going with consecutive birdies from the 13th. He moved to minus-3 with a birdie at the par-3 17th. He again made back-to-back birdies, this time from the first.
However, the American stumbled to his only bogey at the par-3 third. He got that stroke back and joined the group in second place when he birdied the par-5 ninth.
Former European Ryder Cupper Paul McGinley posted a 4-under-par 68. He shares sixth place with David Drysdale, Mattias Eliasson, Craig Spence, Marcus Both and Alex Cejka. Adam Groom, James Kingston, Rafael Ponce and Gary Rusnak are one stroke further back at minus-3.
Padraig Harrington, who won this event last year when it was contested in Taiwan, notched an even-par round of 72 and stands in a tie for 47th.