"I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open or the China Open due to continuing issues with my right shoulder," Williams said in a statement. "I have been practicing and playing but my shoulder is still not fit for tournament play.
"I wish the tournaments great success and I'm sure the fans will enjoy some great tennis. I am focused on getting ready to compete at the WTA Finals in Singapore."
Williams recently told CNN's Ravi Ubha, "I'm tired of playing tournaments unhealthy and taking losses that I would never lose."
Williams has played eight tournaments this year, the fewest she has played in a season since returning from injury in 2011. She has won two titles (Rome and Wimbledon) and finished as runner-up three times - Australian Open (lost to Angelique Kerber in final), Indian Wells (lost to Victoria Azarenka in final) and Roland Garros (lost to Garbiñe Muguruza in final).
Her coach Patrick Mouratoglu stated in an interview with CNN, "It's a bad season for her. She has been a lot injured. For Serena any other result that is not a title is a bad result. The final at a Grand Slam is a bad result for her. We cannot be satisfied with one Grand Slam [title] and two finals lost."
As Williams seeks time to recover from her injury, she will look to return to action in Singapore for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, an event she has competed in nine times and won five titles.