The 2005 world champion despatched Higginson with minimum fuss in China and will play either Ding Junhui or Zhou Yuelong in the last 16 on Wednesday.
Each of the other first-round contests in the opening session went the full 11 frames, with Cao Yupeng seeing off Wang Yuchen 6-5 and Michael White and Ken Doherty falling to Lu Haotian and Zhao Xintong by the same score respectively in wildcard qualifiers.
Haotian's success propels him directly into round two after reigning Crucible champion Ronnie O'Sullivan withdrew from the competition for medical reasons, while Xintong will play Matthew Stevens and Yupeng meets John Higgins in the first round proper.
Peter Ebdon also received a walkover into the round of 16 after being drawn against the suspended Stephen Lee.
In the second session of the day, Neil Robertson battled past Ryan Day 6-3 in efficient fashion, while Jamie Burnett whitewashed Niu Zhuang 6-0 with minimal fuss.
Fergal O'Brien was a 6-3 winner over Chen Feilong, and Aditya Mehta edged out Zhu Yinghui 6-5 in a tight contest.
Cao Yupeng 6-5 Wang Yuchen
Shaun Murphy 6-0 Andrew Higginson
Michael White 5-6 Lu Haotian
Ken Doherty 5-6 Zhao Xintong
Neil Robertson 6-3 Ryan Day
Aditya Mehta 6-5 Zhu Yinghui
Fergal O'Brien 6-3 Chen Feilong
Jamie Burnett 6-0 Niu Zhuang