Actinidia (kiwifruit) is known as 'the king of vitamin C' due to its rich ascorbic acid (AsA) concentration, which makes it an important model for studying the regulation of AsA metabolism. Herein, transcriptomic analysis was employed to identify candidate genes that regulate AsA synthesis in Actinidia species with 100-fold variations in fruit AsA content (A. latifolia and A. rufa). Approximately 1.16 billion high-quality reads were generated, and an average of 66.68% of the data was uniquely aligned against the reference genome. AsA-associated DEGs that predominately respond to abiotic signals, and secondary metabolic pathways were identified. The key candidate genes, for instance, GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase-3 (GGP3), were explored according to integrated analysis of the weighted gene co-expression network and L-galactose pathway. Transgenic kiwifruit plants were generated, and the leaves of GGP3 (OE-GGP3) overexpressing lines had AsA contents 2.0- to 6.4-fold higher than those of the wild type. Transcriptomic analysis of transgenic kiwifruit lines was further implemented to identify 20 potential downstream target genes and understand GGP3-regulated cellular processes. As a result, two transcription factors (AcESE3 and AcMYBR) were selected to carry out yeast two-hybrid and BiFC assays, which verified that there were obvious AcESE3-AcMYBR and AcESE3-AcGGP3 protein-protein interactions. This study provides insight into the mechanism of AsA synthesis and provides candidate factors and genes involved in AsA accumulation in kiwifruit.