17-year-old Bingtao - who thumped Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-1 in the first round - made breaks of 52, 99, 123 and 89 to progress with Higgins' knock of 55 in frame four the highlight of his day's work.
He will meet Mark Allen in the last four after the Northern Irishman completed a 6-5 win over Judd Trump in their quarter-final.
Trump was never ahead against Allen, but breaks of 53, 89, 58, 58 and 110 saw him force a last-frame decider that Allen - who contributed runs of 117 in frame three and a 60 in the ninth - edged on the colours.
Mark Selby will meet Martin Gould in the other semi-final after the world champion produced some vintage form with breaks of 90, 59, 81, 60 and 93 enough to overwhelm Robbie Williams, who ran in a break of 106 in the fourth frame.
Gould edged a 6-5 win over fellow Englishman Ali Carter in their meeting. Carter fought back from 5-3 behind to restore parity at 5-5, but an 81 from Gould was enough to secure the victory.
- Mark Selby 6-2 Robbie Williams
- Ali Carter 5-6 Martin Gould
- Judd Trump 5-6 Mark Allen
- Yan Bingtao 6-2 John Higgins
Semi-finals live on Eurosport from 0630 and 1130 on Friday and Saturday
- Mark Selby v Martin Gould (best of 17 frames) Friday
- Mark Allen v Yan Bingtao (best of 17 frames) Saturday