Objectives.--To estimate the basic reproduction number of the Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Methods.--Based on the susceptible-exposed-infected-removed (SEIR) compartment model and the assumption that the infectious cases with symptoms occurred before January 25, 2020 are resulted from free propagation without intervention, we estimate the basic reproduction number of 2019-nCoV according to the reported confirmed cases and suspected cases, as well as the theoretical estimated number of infected cases by other research teams, together with some epidemiological determinants learned from the severe acute respiratory syndrome. Results The basic reproduction number falls between 2.8 to 3.3 by using the real-time reports on the number of 2019-nCoV infected cases from People's Daily in China, and falls between 3.2 and 3.9 on the basis of the predicted number of infected cases from colleagues. Conclusions.--The early transmission ability of 2019-nCoV is closed to or slightly higher than SARS. It is a controllable disease with moderate-high transmissibility. Timely and effective control measures are needed to suppress the further transmissions. Notes Added.--Using a newly reported epidemiological determinants for early 2019-nCoV, the estimated basic reproduction number is in the range [2.2,3.0].