A process is disclosed for the production of ethylene dichloride from ethane. Ethane is introduced into an autothermic (self-sustaining) cracking zone together with controlled proportions of chlorine and oxygen. The autothermic cracking zone is maintained at a temperature above about 700.degree. C. but below 1000.degree. C. for a sufficient time to convert from about 20 to 95 percent of the ethane having about 96 to 74 percent ethylene yield, respectively, based on the converted ethane. The reaction mixture, containing predominantly ethylene and hydrogen chloride, is quenched with a volatile liquid. The quenched mixture is passed, together with oxygen, into a catalytically activated oxyhydrochlorination zone to convert the ethylene, hydrogen chloride and oxygen to ethylene dichloride. If vinyl chloride is desired as a product, part or all of the produced ethylene dichloride is passed to a second cracking zone for conversion to vinyl chloride product and hydrogen chloride. The hydrogen chloride produced is recycled to the oxyhydrochlorination zone. Ethylene dichloride, vinyl chloride or mixtures of ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride can be recovered as product, with substantially complete utilization of the hydrogen chloride produced.