This paper is a report of a cross-cultural online collaboration between two cohorts of pre-service teachers in Hong Kong, China and an American university in St. Paul, Minnesota. It explicates the pedagogical design and implementation of online tools for group collaboration and students' perceptions of the benefits and challenges. Multiple web-based tools (e.g. Slack, Zoom) were selected and recommended to the students to facilitate resource sharing, communication, and artefact construction. Overall, students valued the experience of collaborating in a global virtual team in spite of some challenges encountered. Findings from this study indicated that the merits and perils of cross-cultural online collaboration coexisted and centered on three aspects: cross-cultural communication, group collaboration, and technological tools. The students greatly appreciated the values of online tools and manifested the ability to appropriate the tools to fulfill the needs of group work. The implications for pedagogical design are also discussed and technological tools supporting cross-cultural online collaboration are recommended. Copyright © 2021 Springer.