This study aims to compare auditory temporal processing and phonological processing across locations and age levels and to test the direct and indirect effects of auditory temporal and phonological processing on proficiency in Chinese character reading. We recruited 108 typically developing children — 25 and 24 kindergarteners from Taiwan and Hong Kong, respectively, and 34 and 25 primary school students from Taiwan and Hong Kong, respectively. Our findings showed that, before learning PCS, the languages’ phonological complexity did not affect the importance of ATP in Chinese reading. Also, we found the use of PCS could lead to a direct effect from students’ ATP to Chinese character reading as well as through phonological awareness. Our findings indicated that ways of learning to read influence children’s patterns of cognitive and linguistic abilities, which should be considered in teaching designs for reading. Copyright © 2023 Fundacion Infancia y Aprendizaje.