Receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) is a WD-domain repeating protein which involves in the mediation of various biological processes, including innate immune response. In the present study, a RACK1 (designed as EsRACK1) gene from Chinese mitten crab E. sinensis was cloned by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) technique. The full-length cDNA sequence of EsRACK1 was of 1117 bp with an open reading frame (ORF) of 957 bp encoding a polypeptide of 318 amino acids containing seven WD repeats. EsRACK1 shared 62%–99% similarities with previously identified RACK1s in amino acid sequence, and it was clustered with the RACK1 from Pacifastacus leniusculus in the phylogenetic tree. The mRNA transcripts of EsRACK1 were constitutively expressed in various tissues with the highest expression level in hepatopancreas. The expression of EsRACK1 mRNA in hemocytes were significantly up-regulated post the stimulations with Vibrio anguillarum and Pichia pastoris. After exposure to CdCl2 and pentachlorophenol, the transcripts of EsRACK1 in hemocytes were up-regulated at the late phase from 12 h. When EsRACK1 was knocked down by dsRNA based RNAi, the total hemocyte counts, new-born hemocytes and phosphorylation of JNK were all significantly decreased. In addition, EsRACK1 transcription and phosphorylation of JNK were both decreased in hematopoietic tissue post Aeromonas hydrophila challenge. All the results suggested that EsRACK1 was involved in the innate immune response of the crab and participated in the production of new-born hemocytes through activation of JNK.