Due to the emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan in January 2020, the central government of China announced that Wuhan was in "lockdown," the activities of the country's citizens were restricted. This study selected three standard air quality indexes AQI, PM2.5, and PM10 of 2017-2021 in 40 major cities of seven regions in China to analyze their changes, spatial-temporal distributions, and socio-economic influencing factors. Compared with 2019, AQI, PM2.5, and PM10 decreased by 22.54%, 13.94%, and 22.30%, respectively, and the days with AQI level "A" increased from 89% to 100% during the "lockdown" in 2020. Due to different degrees of industrialization, the decline range of Northeast, Yangtze River Delta, and Pearl River Delta areas is more than that of the Southwest, BTH, Northwest, and Central areas, the concentration of air pollutants shows significant regional characteristics. The AQI before and after the "lockdown" in 2020 showed significant spatial autocorrelation, and the cities' AQI in the north present high aggregation, and the cities in the south are in low aggregation. From the data at the national level, the changes of the four socio-economic factors of roadway passenger volume (RPV), construction area (CA), coal-fired power (CP), and the proportion of industrial added value in GDP (IND) significantly influenced AQI. This study gives regulators confidence that if the government implements regionalized air quality improvement policies according to the characteristics of each region in China and reasonably plans socio-economic activities, it is expected to improve China's air quality sustainably.