This paper explores the design preferences of virtual communities in two cultural groups – the U.S. and China. The design preferences studied are web design, tools used and types of virtual communities preferred. Content analysis was employed to study twenty of the most popular Chinese and U.S. virtual communities. The study found that there are differences in the preference for the type of virtual communities and the tool used by Chinese and U.S. communities. The findings challenge aspects of website design across these cultural groups thought to be dissimilar based on prior research. Implications for research and practice are also discussed.