Abstract The effect of pH-control modes on cell growth and exopolysaccharide production by Tremella fuciformis was evaluated in a 5-L bioreactor. The results show that the maximal dry cell weight (DCW) and exopolysaccharide production were 23.57 and 4.48gL−1 in pH-stat fermentation, where the maximal specific growth rate (μmax) and specific production rate of exopolysaccharide (PP/X) were 1.03 and 0.24d−1, respectively; under pH-shift cultivation, the maximal DCW and exopolysaccharide production were 30.57 and 3.90gL−1, where the μmax and PP/X were 1.21 and 0.06d−1. Unlike batch fermentation, maximal DCW and exopolysaccharide production merely reached 15.04 and 2.0gL−1, where the μmax and PP/X were 0.86 and 0.05d−1, respectively. These results suggest that a pH-stat strategy is a more efficient way of performing the fermentation process to increase exopolysaccharide production. Furthermore, this research has also proved that the three-stage pH-control mode is effective for cell growth.