Dual-specificity protein phosphatases (DUSP) negatively regulate members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase superfamily, which is associated with cellular proliferation and differentiation. A recent study suggests that DUSP10 is frequently upregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC). Our study aimed to assess whether DUSP10 contributes to the risk of CRC. We analyzed nine tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) of DUSP10 in a case–control study of Han Chinese by the χ2-test and the SHEsis software. We found that two tSNPs (rs908858, P=0.00004; rs11118838, P=0.02510) were significantly associated with CRC using the χ2-test. Using the SHEsis software, six tSNPs (rs12041033, rs17010629, rs12724393, rs12036163, rs11118838, rs12044821) were found in the same linkage disequilibrium block. Within this linkage disequilibrium block, haplotype ‘CTCAAC’ showed an increased risk of CRC by 42%. By global haplotype analysis, we found that the haplotype ‘ACTCAACTA’ may increase the risk of CRC by ∼53%; the haplotype ‘GCCCACCCA’ may decrease the risk by ∼46%. Our results, combined with previous studies, suggest that certain mutations in DUSP10 correlate with the incidence of CRC. Thus, the function of the DUSP10 gene product may contribute toward CRC in the Han Chinese population.