This paper investigates the association between the mandatory adoption of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) in China and foreign institutional investors' interest. Based on a sample from the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in the period from 2004 to 2009, our results demonstrate that the adoption of XBRL is positively related to foreign institutional investors' holdings. In addition, although state-owned enterprises (SOEs), compared to non-SOEs, have fewer foreign institutional investors' holdings in our sample period, the adoption of XBRL reduces such differences for non-tradable shares. As China is one of the world's largest and growing economic entities and an early adopter of XBRL, our findings shed light on the role played by XBRL as a global standard and how it facilitates business information exchange around the world.

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