Chinese firms are characterized by multiple ownership and high ownership concentration. In this research, we conduct an intensive investigation into the determination of ownership characteristics in earnings management behaviors for Chinese domestic listed firms. Our results indicate that earnings management is determined by the motivations of different types of ownerships. In particular, when a state agency is the largest owner, firms are less likely to undertake earnings management, although the state ownership ratio is positively associated with earnings management. Tradable ownership and particularly concentrated tradable ownership reduce earnings management, while total ownership concentration fosters earnings management.