The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the variations in SOE efficiency and productivity from the perspectives of macroeconomic fluctuations and systematic reform in China during 1986–2003. We use Data Envelopment Analysis to measure SOE efficiency. Subsequently, we use the Malmquist Index of Productivity change to measure productivity growth. The empirical results show that SOE efficiency and productivity exhibited obvious improvements during periods of strong systematic reform and a prosperous economy. The systematic reform after 1998 had a clear-cut impact on SOE performance.