The results of a large victimization survey conducted in 2006 of 5,117 businesses in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Xi'an are reported. Over one-quarter (26.2 per cent) of businesses reported at least one incident of crime over the past year, but higher risks of commercial crimes (i.e. fraud, bribery, extortion and intellectual property offences) than common crime (i.e. robbery, assault and theft) were found. Across the cities, the rate of commercial crime (22.6 per cent) was 3.4 times that of common crime (6.7 per cent) and businesses in Shenzhen were at higher risk of commercial crime (27.9 per cent) than those in Xi'an (25.3 per cent) and Hong Kong and Shanghai (19.5 per cent). Just over 6 per cent of respondents mentioned incidents of bribery. Larger businesses were most at risk especially of fraud and differences between the cities were small. The survey shows that the level of crime reported by businesses located in China was lower than other emerging economies as well as Western and Eastern Europe. Explanations about the level of crime against business in China are discussed at the macro level using Durkheimian ideas about modernization and crime and at the meso/micro levels by drawing from opportunity and routine activity theories.