In recent years, a range of western jurisdictions has introduced reforms designed to restrict and guide judicial discretion at sentencing. The reforms enacted include mandatory sentencing laws and guiding statutes prescribing sentencing purposes and principles as well as important aggravating and mitigating factors. However, formal guidelines are the most promising and well-studied innovation. We may now add China to the growing list of countries that have recognized the utility of guidelines. Over the past decade, China has slowly developed sentencing guidelines for its courts. The new guidelines contain both general directions with respect to the determination of sentence as well as specific numerical guidelines for common offences. The guidelines do not follow the approach taken by the US schemes, many of which employ a two-dimensional sentencing grid. Instead, China has adopted a strategy consisting of “Starting Point” sentences which are then adjusted by the court to reflect relevant mitigating and aggravating factors. This approach is much closer to the guidelines developed in England and Wales and those proposed but not yet implemented in New Zealand and Israel. In this article, we explore the new Chinese guidelines and provide a limited comparative analysis with guidelines in other jurisdictions. England and Wales is selected as the principal comparator since it has developed and implemented a comprehensive system consisting of both offence-specified guidelines as well as generic guidelines.