The visual magnocellular-dorsal (M-D) deficit theory of developmental dyslexia (DD) is still highly debated. Many researchers have made great efforts to investigate the relationship between M-D dysfunction and reading disability. Given that visual analysis plays an important role in Chinese reading, the present study tried to examine how the M-D dysfunction affected Chinese character recognition in Chinese children with DD. Sixteen DD children with M-D deficit, fifteen DD children with normal M-D function and twenty-seven age-matched typically developing children participated in this study. A global/local decision task was adopted, in which we manipulated the spatial frequency of target characters to separate an M-D condition from an unfiltered condition. Results of reaction times and error rates showed that in the M-D condition both M-D normal dyslexics and controls exhibited a significant global precedence effect, with faster responses and lower error rates in global decision than in local decision. In contrast, this global advantage was absent for the M-D impaired dyslexics. Accordingly, we propose that the M-D impairment present in some but not all dyslexics might influence global recognition of Chinese characters in this subgroup of children with DD, which might be implicated in their difficulties in learning to read.