The prognosis for patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC) remains poor, and systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment option. Many clinical studies utilizing oxaliplatin-based regimens as first-line treatment for AGC have been conducted by Chinese investigators. However, there is no clear consensus concerning the role of oxaliplatin in AGC in Chinese patients. The aim of the present literature-based meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of oxaliplatin-based regimens with cisplatin-based regimens in Chinese patients with AGC. The search period included trials published between January 2003 and October 2007. A total of 116 trials were identified, of which 104 trials were excluded, and 12 trials were included in this meta-analysis. The present meta-analysis showed that oxaliplatin-based regimens may be associated with higher 1-year survival and objective response rates in Chinese patients with AGC compared with cisplatin-based regimens. Cisplatin was more frequently associated with nausea/vomiting and anemia, while peripheral neuropathy, which resolved over time, was more common with oxaliplatin. High quality, large-scale, randomized, controlled phase III trials are needed to accurately identify the therapeutic effect of oxaliplatin in Chinese patients with AGC.