In response to a series of strikes in south China in 2010, a new model of collective bargaining has emerged, featuring what this article describes as “moderated mobilization.” Distinct from what is typically known as China's quadripartite industrial relations system, whereby workers are separated from the party-state, official trade unions and employers, this model shows workers and enterprise-level trade unions in collaboration with one another. According to our observations from 2012 to 2017, some enterprise unions have successfully mobilized workers throughout the collective bargaining process. These unions are democratically elected by workers and are relatively independent from the official authorities. At the same time, they have “moderated” such mobilization particularly to reduce labour militancy, given the political and institutional constraints within which they must work. The implication of this new model is significant. Although it might be far from solving the quadripartite dilemma, it has signalled an increase in local initiatives among enterprise unions – a previously neglected but pragmatically favourable channel for workers.