Mesoscale eddies are active and energetic in the South China Sea (SCS), and play an important role in regulating the multi-scale circulation and mass transportation in the region, especially for those long-lived strong eddies. Using AVISO altimeter data and outermost closed contour sea level anomaly method, this study identified and tracked mesoscale eddies in the northern SCS during 2011-2018, and focused on the temporal and spatial characteristics of mesoscale eddies in recent years. Similarly to previous results in this region, statistical results show that about 8.6 anticyclonic eddies and 4.5 cyclonic eddies (lifetime > 28 days) were born per year. Among them, about 1/3 of the total number are strong eddies (lifetime > 45 days), showing relatively strong dynamic characteristics, such as strong Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE) and highly nonlinear feature. Statistics also show significant seasonal variability in mesoscale eddies’ birth places, trajectories and distribution of frequency of occurrence. Specifically, anticyclonic eddies mainly form at the north part of Luzon Strait between autumn and winter, and then move southwestward along isobaths. During this period, the largest value of the frequency of occurrence is over 30%. In summer, most of them form in the west off Luzon Island, and then move westward paralleling to latitude lines. In contrast, cyclonic mainly form in the west off Luzon Strait, and then move westward in winter and spring. During this period, the largest value is about 26%. In addition, observation finds that the strong mesoscale eddy pair could generate off the southwest of Taiwan Island. Analysis of the Kuroshio SCS Index (KSI) implies that loop current caused by Kuroshio intrusion is the most important mechanism for the formation of eddy pair.