This study considered curricular and instructional influences on early Chinese literacy attainment in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. The participants included 198 pre-school children, their teachers and parents. Children were administered the Pre-school and Primary Chinese Literacy Scale at the age of either two or three years, and again one year later. Teachers were asked to report on their beliefs and practices related to literacy education, and classroom observations were conducted to determine the extent to which directives issued by the Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore governments were implemented. Investigation showed that there were marked differences across the societies in curriculum guidelines and approaches to literacy teaching. Results indicated that by the age of four, pre-schoolers in Hong Kong and Singapore had significantly better Chinese literacy attainment than those in Beijing. Although age was the best predictor of attainment, location, teachers’ qualifications and classroom experience also significantly contributed to children’s literacy attainment.