This paper examines the association between acquisition performance commitment and earnings management in an emerging market where investor protection mechanisms are not well established. Based on a sample of acquisition transactions by listed firms in China during 2008-2017, we find evidence that firms committed to certain performance targets in acquisition transactions tend to engage in earnings management to meet their commitments. This phenomenon is more pronounced at the later stage of the commitment period. Further, the positive relation between performance commitment and earnings management is attenuated by a stronger governance structure. Finally, we find firms that managed to just meet performance targets experience worsened accounting-based and market-based performances and higher probability of goodwill impairments immediately after the commitment period. This paper contributes to the acquisition literature by providing evidence from an emerging market of post-contractual opportunistic behavior.