When thousands of Chinese companies have implemented ERP systems as a means of optimising business processes and improving management efficiency, how to realise the full benefits promised by these systems and achieve continuous ERP success emerges to be the real challenge faced by practitioners. This paper reports on an empirical study that aimed to examine and explore factors that can affect ERP performance and even trigger ERP post-implementation failure in the Chinese context. The research took a Chinese manufacturing firm, which recently failed in ERP exploitation, as a case study. It adopted an inductive research design supported by in-depth interviews and participative observation as the main methods of data collection. The findings identified that ERP exploitation failure in the case company was not just caused by technical pitfalls of the system, but more importantly was also attributed to critical problems related to top management, IT professional and system users. By drawing on the findings of the case study, the researchers identified a list of key lessons and recommendations that are valuable for helping Chinese companies to play more successfully in ERP usage and exploitation.