Industrial agglomeration is an important economic phenomenon in urban areas and has significant effects on land use efficiency (LUE) due to external economies of scale. A bourgeoning body of literature has investigated the effects of industrial agglomeration. However, the relationship between industrial agglomeration and land use efficiency has rarely been discussed in China. To fill this gap, this study aims to explore the effects of industrial agglomeration on LUE and the characteristics of its spatial distribution. In this study, the spatial effects of industrial agglomeration of 12 detailed sectors on LUE are estimated through the geographical weighted regression model. Socioeconomic data of 289 prefecture-level cities in China are utilized for the analysis. Results show several important findings. First, spatial effects of industrial agglomerations on LUE are evident in three grand city clusters, i.e. the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta. Second, spatial patterns and distributions of industrial agglomeration effects on LUE vary across regions. Third, the significance of industrial agglomeration effects on LUE between 2-digit industrial sectors is different. The merits of this study lie in three aspects: First, a theoretical framework is explored to analyze the impacts of industrial agglomeration on LUE based on the expanded Cobb–Douglas production function; Second, the impacts of industrial sectors on LUE are estimated from a spatial perspective; Third, some policy implications for a more economically efficient urban spatial development are suggested.