Jiyuan was originally ordered as a third Dingyuan-class battleship, but due to a lack of funding, was re-ordered as a protected cruiser. She was commissioned 11 June, 1885, and had a lackluster career. She saw action in the Sino-Japanese War, the highlight of which was ramming and sinking the friendly cruiser Yangwei during the Battle of the Yalu in 1894. Jiyuan was captured by the Japanese Army while moored near Weihaiwei in February, 1895. She was taken as a prize of war, and commissioned as Saien in the Japanese Navy. She saw further service in the Sino-Japanese War against her former country, and briefly during the Russo-Japanese War, until she ran afoul of mines off Port Arthur and sank on 30 November, 1904.