Well aware of the growing importance of the global university ranking exercises, many governments in East Asia have introduced different strategies to benchmark with leading universities in order to enhance the global competitiveness of their universities. With strong determination to do better in such global ranking exercises, universities in Mainland China and Taiwan have attempted to restructure their university systems and searched for new governance strategies to secure higher global rankings. This article critically examines major policies introduced and strategies employed by governments in Mainland China and Taiwan in benchmarking their universities with world‐class universities. Changes taking place in the university governance in China and Taiwan have clearly suggested significant transformations in the regulatory regime whereby broader regulatory objectives are directed to promote economic competitiveness and global ranking. Similarly to its European counterparts, university governance in China and Taiwan is now more global in scope; it is increasingly subject to new external standards of measurement while its own internal governance procedures have become more managerial. The present research has suggested new modes of higher educational governance are emerging in China and Taiwan, characterised by evolving features of ‘regulatory regionalism’.