We study the ex ante stock market reactions to events leading up to China’s convergence to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The literature consistently shows that the benefits of mandatory IFRS convergence are concentrated in countries with stronger legal enforcement and investor protection. Given that these institutional characteristics are weaker in China relative to more developed Western economies, whether mandating IFRS will benefit the Chinese capital market is an interesting and important, but unanswered question. We find that the Chinese stock market reacts favorably to events leading up to IFRS convergence, and this effect is more pronounced among firms with greater dependence on external capital. This result suggests the market anticipates that such firms will benefit more from IFRS convergence, possibly because of improved financial reporting quality and access to external financing. Additional tests confirm that the value relevance of accounting numbers for these firms is higher following IFRS convergence.