Along with the rapid growth of the Chinese economy over the past decades, information systems (IS) research in China has undergone a profound transformation. This exploratory study reports on a survey involving 107 university researchers, focusing on the input aspects of IS research and how institutional factors affect the input. In this paper, input mainly refers to research activities, effort, methods and reference disciplines. Data show researchers are withdrawing from IS development projects, while increasing their effort in academic research. Compared to the past, IS research topics are now more aligned to the international mainstream. A major hurdle for empirical research is the lack of familiarities with empirical research methodology, as indicated by nearly half of the respondents. Effort in academic research tends to correlate with the researchers' income scheme, i.e., sources and proportion of base salary and benefits in their overall income. However, surprisingly, emphasis on quality of publication has not significantly influenced researchers' effort yet, nor has the increased degree of internationalization affected the selection of research methods and the shift to empirical research. The underlying reasons are explored, and implications are also discussed.