Chen prevailed 21-12 21-17 at Wembley Arena
but the scoreline did not reflect world number 22 Ponsana's efforts in a compelling 52-minute encounter.
Ponsana led 15-10 and 17-16 in the second game as he pressed to take the contest into a decider but Chen hit back and won five successive points to settle the match.
Being the only match in Group E, the result meant the end of Ponsana's London 2012 campaign.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Saina Nehwal was in impressive form in the women's Singles.
The fourth seed from India brushed aside Swiss outsider Sabrina Jaquet 21-9 21-4 in just 24 minutes.
One of the most impressive performances of the day came from Mixed Doubles top seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, who secured a place in the quarter-finals with a 21-9 21-18 defeat of Russians Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina.
Third seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir cruised towards the last eight with their second convincing win of the competition.
The Indonesians, the reigning All England champions, ultimately made easy work of the world number nine pair from Republic of Korea, Lee Yong-dae and Ha Jung-eun, 21-19 21-12.
That could take the pressure off for their final Group C game, an All England final rematch against Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, depending on the Danes' match against the Koreans.
Meanwhile, world number eights Laybourn and Rytter Juhl entered the competition with a 21-12 21-16 defeat of Jwala Gutta and Diju V of India.