This study explored Mandarin-speaking children's referential choice in natural conversation from a discourse-pragmatic perspective. The data consisted of two Mandarin-speaking children's natural conversation with their mothers, collected when the children were between the ages of 2;2 and 3;1. The subject and object arguments of the children's utterances were coded for the categories of referential forms and informativeness features. The referential forms included three categories: (1) null forms, (2) pronominal forms, and (3) nominal forms. The informativeness features included eight categories: (1) absence, (2) newness, (3) query, (4) contrast, (5) differentiation in context, (6) differentiation in discourse, (7) inanimacy, and (8) third person. The results showed that the children were sensitive to the informativeness features, and that their referential choices were made in accordance with discourse-pragmatic principles. Such sensitivity was observed since the children were as young as 2;2 and throughout their development. In addition, the results showed that the referential choices for subject and object arguments differed significantly in both children's data; the differences appeared to be associated with the asymmetry in informativeness between subject and object arguments. The results of the study are consistent with those reported in Allen (2000), Clancy (1997) and Serratrice (2005), and provide an important piece of cross-linguistic evidence for the discourse-pragmatic account for children's referential choice.