Strategic international human resource management (SIHRM) is crucial for the effective leveraging of human resources in organizations to achieve the desired business strategies. There is a rich collection of studies on western multinational corporations (MNCs) in China, but few studies that explore the SIHRM of Chinese MNCs operating overseas. This study utilizes cross-level, in-depth interviews to analyse SIHRM of three large Chinese multinationals. The paper contributes to literature by addressing two contextual SIHRM issues, namely the characteristics of the SIHRM for Chinese multinationals and how their SIHRM orientation facilitates their international investment and operation. The findings indicate that organizational transformation is the starting point for latecomers matching their international HRM strategies. Their SIHRM approaches, such as forming learning organizations, reliance on host-country nationals, reconciling both home and host-country effects and promoting best practices , facilitate their international operations.