Using the data of privately-owned firms in China’s transition economy, we examine the effects of soft budget constraint on the expropriation of minority shareholders. We find that, compared to small firms, large firms have higher bank loans and are more likely to get government subsidies. However, large firms show higher divergence between cash flow and control rights, more fund occupation by controlling shareholders, and lower market valuation. Moreover these differences between large and small firms become particularly pronounced when the firms operate in the provinces with poorer fiscal conditions. These findings suggest that soft budget constraint can mitigate the expropriation costs of controlling shareholders, and subsequently deteriorates the expropriation of minority shareholders.