It is widely assumed that authoritarian states tend to use repression to suffocate social conflicts that threaten regime stability. Focusing on the Chinese state's responses to resource conflict, a particular type of social conflict triggered by mineral resource extraction, this research argues that authoritarian regimes may prefer to use redistributive policies to defuse social unrest under certain circumstances. Through mixed methods combining qualitative research and statistical analysis, I find that local governments in resource-rich regions do not spend heavily on coercive state apparatus. Instead, they generously hand out social security benefits to appease aggrieved citizens. Furthermore, the Chinese state actively involves mining companies in the redistribution process and requires them to share the financial costs of relief policies. Therefore, when conflicts arise between specific social groups with conflicting interests, redistribution may be a more effective strategy to preserve regime stability.