Based on a previous study that used the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) nighttime light images to partition different types of night-lit areas within individual cities, 456 urban core zones in China, representing highly developed areas in 2012, were extracted. Then, several morphologic indices were selected for characterizing for each urban core zone, and the spatial differentiation and morphologic characteristics of urban core zones located within different geomorphologic regions in China were quantitatively analyzed. The results showed that urban core zones were most widely distributed in the eastern region comprising hilly plains, with a decreasing distribution trend from northeast to southwest, and the least distribution was in the Tibetan Plateau. The contours of most of these zones appeared to be relatively simple and compact, and evidenced seven shapes. Regions at lower altitudes with flat terrains were more likely to demonstrate a wide range of urban core zones, especially those with complex shapes. This study represents a preliminary effort toward the construction of an interactive coupling mechanism for urban and geomorphologic environments (e.g., altitude, relief of land surface, geomorphologic types, geomorphologic region). Its findings contribute to enhancing understanding of the spatial morphologic characteristics of highly developed areas in China.