12-time Australia international McGowan, who made 71 appearances for Heart of Midlothian between 2008 and 2013, admitted it was a great feeling to be back in Scotland and says he is eager to assist the Tayside club.
"It is great to be back in the Scottish Premiership and I am excited about the challenge of being a Dundee United player," he told the club's official website.
"When I moved to Shandong Luneng Taishan, I believed I would return to Scottish football one day and for it to be here at Tannadice is fantastic.
"My time in China was a great experience but I look at what we can achieve here at Dundee United this season and I want to play a part in helping the club reach its goals."
Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) January 23, 2015
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