The influence of high O(2) atmosphere on postharvest decay, quality, total phenolic, total anthocyanin contents, antioxidant enzymes activity, and antioxidant activity of Chinese bayberry fruit was investigated. Freshly harvested Chinese bayberry fruits were placed in jars and ventilated continuously with air or with 80 and 100% O(2) for up to 12 days. Samples were randomly selected initially and at 3-days interval during storage. The fruit exposed to high O(2) was resistant to decay, had high levels of total soluble solids, titratable acidity and ascorbic acid contents, and also reduced the increment of pH value. High O(2) treatment was less stressful as reflected by having the significantly lower malonaldehyde contents and higher catalase, ascorbic acid peroxidase, and peroxidase activities during storage. Both 80% and 100% O(2) treaments had also retained the bioactive contents and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity during storage. These results indicate that elevated O(2) levels may improve the ability of the antioxidative defense mechanism in Chinese bayberry and result in a better control of fruit decay.