The purpose of this paper is to provide a greater understanding of the implementation process of lean production in China. In particular, it will investigate the main barriers when implementing lean production in China. The aim is to evaluate if implementation barriers can be explained by Chinese national context factors. Case studies of two auto-parts production plants of a German multinational company in China were used to evaluate lean barriers within China. During a two month research trip to China, sixty interviews with Chinese and Western employees were conducted to evaluate barriers when implementing Lean in China. Strong evidence is found that Chinese context factors do significantly influence the implementation process of lean in China. The paper proposes the necessity for organizations to consider cultural, socio-political and economic context factors of China when applying lean principles. The fieldwork leads the author to develop a model of barriers which restrain the successful implementation of lean production systems in China. Beside a comprehensive compilation of barriers, the model indicates Chinese cultural, socio-and economic national context factors which may influence the implementation barriers.