Using survey and archival data from exchange-listed Chinese firms, we investigate the relationship between competitive forces (i.e., the threat of foreign entrants and buyers' bargaining power) and the importance that the firms place on their management control systems (MCS), and whether the firms' international market orientation moderates this relationship. We examine five MCS practices-formal procedures, strategic planning, budget targets, approval procedures, and participative budgeting-both as a package and separately. We predict and find a positive association between the threat of foreign entrants and the importance that the firms place on their MCS, but this association is larger for firms competing predominantly in the domestic market than for those competing predominantly in international markets. Further, we predict and find that the association between buyers' bargaining power and the importance that the firms place on their MCS is larger for firms competing predominantly in international markets than for those competing in domestic markets. We probe deeper into our empirical findings using qualitative data collected from post hoc interviews with managers of Chinese firms and those of international firms operating in China. We discuss the implications of our findings and provide some directions for future research.