What accounts for the implementation of corporate social responsibility in China? This article investigates to what extent the implementation of corporate social responsibility in China is attributable to world cultural pressure and political embeddedness. In an attempt to answer the questions raised, we combined the Hexunwang’s CSR rating with companies’ time-series data. The random-effects ordered logit model was applied for the panel data from 2010 to 2016 for 2,506 listed companies in China. The results show that the variables derived from political embeddedness account have more explanatory power, especially not at the local level but central level connections. This article provides a theoretical contribution to understanding corporate social responsibility in China with a nuanced understanding of central and local factors involving state-business relations.