Large-scale and diffuse population flow amplifies the localized COVID-19 outbreak into a widespread pandemic . Network analysis provides a new methodology to uncover the topology and evolution of the population flow and understand its influence on the early dynamics of COVID-19 transmission . In this paper, we simulated 42 transmission scenarios to show the distribution of the COVID-19 outbreak across China . We predicted some original epicenters (Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen) had higher total aggregate population outflows than Wuhan, indicating larger spread scopes and faster growth rates of COVID-19 outbreak . We built an importation risk model to identify some major cities (Dongguan and Foshan) with the highest total importation risk values and the highest standard deviations, indicating the core transmission chains (Dongguan-Shenzhen, Foshan-Guangzhou). We built the population flow networks to analyze their Spatio-temporal characteristics and identify the influential sub-groups and spreaders . By removing different influential spreaders, we identified Guangzhou can most influence the network's topological characteristics, and some major cities' degree centrality was significantly decreased . Our findings quantified the effectiveness of travel restrictions on delaying the epidemic growth and limiting the spread scope of COVID-19 in China, which helped better derive the geographical COVID-19 transmission related to population flow networks' structural features.