Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in China. Based on recent statistics, about 67% of firms were non-state owned, which contributed 47% of the R&D in 2017 (Report of the Top 500 Firms in China, 2017). The majority of these firms are SMEs, many of which are family businesses. Despite their importance, we lack both theoretical and empirical understanding of how these firms cope with the opportunities and challenges in China's fast-changing transitional market. In light of the mission of Management and Organization Review (MOR), i.e., publishing ground-breaking insights about management and organizations in China, we called for this special issue in order to promote the value of the unique Chinese institutional context for management inquiries.