In this comparative case study research, we reflect on two enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation stories at two large petrochemical companies in China. These companies implemented the same ERP system in a similar time span (though not at the same time). They are two very large Chinese State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and in this paper we highlight the centralization versus decentralization debate relating to IS-IT as this issue is proved particularly important in this specific context of Chinese SOEs. The first company went from a decentralized strategy towards a centralized one. Conversely, the second company went from a centralized strategy towards a decentralized one. Despite these differences, both companies successfully completed the projects with dissimilar mixed strategies.