MicroRNA (miR)-29b plays a crucial role during somatic cell reprogramming. The aim of the current study was to explore the effects of miR-29b on the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, as well as the underlying mechanisms of action. The expression level of miR-29b was lower in bovine SCNT embryos at the pronuclear, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages compared with in vitro fertilized embryos. In addition, miR-29b regulates the expression of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt3a/3b and Dnmt1) in bovine SCNT embryos. We further investigated SCNT embryo developmental competence and found that miR-29b overexpression during bovine SCNT embryonic development does not improve developmental potency and downregulation inhibits developmental potency. Nevertheless, the quality of bovine SCNT embryos at the blastocyst stage improved significantly. The expression of pluripotency factors and cellular proliferation were significantly higher in blastocysts from the miR-29b overexpression group than the control and downregulation groups. In addition, outgrowth potential in blastocysts after miR-29b overexpression was also significantly greater in the miR-29b overexpression group than in the control and downregulation groups. Taken together, these results demonstrated that miR-29b plays an important role in bovine SCNT embryo development.