Abstract The impact of Argopistes tsekooni Chen (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a herbivore, on Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense Lour. (Scrophulariales: Oleaceae), an invasive shrub in the United States, was studied in China. Five densities of adults were inoculated into 3-year-old potted Chinese privet plants in cages under field conditions for 1 month. Plants exposed to high densities of adults were severely damaged and the above-ground portions of some were killed, while the survival rates of adult A. tsekooni were comparatively high. The amount of new growth of the main stem, the number of new leaves, and oven-dried biomass were significantly reduced by the combined feeding of larvae and adults. Above-ground plant mortality was 100% when plants were exposed to 24 and 30 adults/plant. In this study A. tsekooni had a significant negative impact on Chinese privet growing in pots, which suggests that it may be a promising candidate for biological control of Chinese privet in the field in North America.