Summary. To investigate the efficacy of antepartum administration of three doses of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg), currently being used in China, 250 pregnant women who were seropositive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) were randomly divided into study (117 cases) and control groups (133 cases). Subjects in the study group received HBIg 400 IU intramuscularly once a month at the third, second and first month before delivery; subjects in the control group received no antepartum treatment. All neonates received passive-active immunization after birth. The maternal hepatitis B virus (HBV) markers, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) titres and HBV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) levels were measured at week 28 of gestation (before the antepartum treatment) and at labour; the neonatal serum HBV markers were detected at birth and at 12 months after birth. No side-effects were found in any of the women or their neonates. No statistical differences were seen between the maternal HBsAg and HBV DNA levels of the study and control groups at labour nor the protective efficacy rates of postnatal immunoprophylaxis at 12 months after birth (P > 0.05, respectively). To conclude, antepartum administration of three doses of HBIg for the HBeAg-positive women is inefficacious.