This study explores foreign direct investment (FDI) determinants in China and India and fills the gap in the literature by providing a comprehensive empirical comparison analysis. Two panel data sets and two statistical models are employed to identify the determinants of FDI inflows from home countries worldwide to the two host countries by considering both home and host countries' characteristics. The empirical results show some interesting similarities and differences between the two countries. Market growth, imports, labor costs, and country political risk/policy liberalization are the determinants for both countries. However, exports, market size, and borrowing costs are important to China's FDI, while geographical and cultural distance factors are important to India's FDI. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.