In this article, we analyse investment preferences of domestic and foreign institutional investors to the management quality of Chinese listed firms. We find that foreign institutional investors hold higher shareholding in firms with greater numbers of executive officers with MBA degrees, having served as vice president or higher prior to joining the firm and sitting on multiple boards. Foreign institutional investors in China also show preference over investee firms with larger board size. However, they pay no attention to whether directors are independent from the firm management and meet often. Domestic institutional investors show preference to all management quality indicators that are associated with foreign institutional ownership. In addition, domestic institutional investors invest more in firms where the executive officers are certified public accountants (CPA) and are longer tenured in their current position. Furthermore, domestic institutional investors pay more attention to corporate governance of investee firms than foreign institutional investors. Finally, we find that domestic institutional investors show a strong preference to firms that have been invested by at least one Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII), even after controlling for QFII’s preference for management quality. This indicates that the QFIIs’ international reputation has been used by domestic institutional investors as a positive signal for investment opportunities.