Traditionally this species has beeen regarded as being endemic to mainland southeastern China with an isolated occurrence near Tengchong in Yunnan, and on the island of Taiwan. This distribution forms the basis for the current IUCN Redlist assessment. However, recent studies of Taxus populations across the Himalayas and southeast Asia have confirmed that this species also occurs in Nepal, northeast India, Myanmar and Vietnam (Poudel et al. 2012). Taxus in these areas are usually identified as T. wallichiana. The research has also raised questions about the identity of the Taiwanese subpopulations (Jie Liu et al. 2011, Zhang et al. 2009).
Taxus mairei has been heavily exploited throughout its range for Taxol production. It is also used in Amchi, Ayurveda, Han Chinese and Unani traditional medicinal systems to treat ailments such as gastro- intestinal disorders, respiratory problems and skeletal system disorders. Locally the arils may be eaten, the wood used for construction, especially tool handles and the foliage for fodder or animal bedding (Poudel et al. 2013).