The 5.0 magnitude shaking left cracks in more than 300 homes and 170 farm buildings, according to officials in Altay, 175 miles to the north-northwest of the epicenter.
There were no significant injuries or casualties, the official Chinese Xinhua news agency reports.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 3:05 a.m. local time at a depth of about 50,000 feet.
Xinjiang is a vast mountainous region and home to about 20 million people.
Eight million of them are Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim group.