One of the main concerns in companies is quality management and its relationship to firm performance. Recently a growing interest in research is the important role of the business environment in the competitive strategy choices of companies. By proposing a conceptual framework for a general model that explains the quality management practices-firm performance link and the business environment-firm performance link, we test the moderating role of competitive strategy in the two links empirically. A survey was conducted of 229 pork-processing firms in the emerging economy of China. We find that specific quality management practices contributing to higher performance include in-company quality management, supplier quality management, employee involvement in quality management and process management, while quality design and customer quality management are not included. Findings also indicate that the business environment (government support in our research) has a positive relationship to firm performance. Competitive strategy only strengthens the relationship between firm performance and quality design, process management, supplier quality management and customer quality management.