The paper focuses on the issue of teaching summarizing in Chinese to high school' students. The different approaches to distinguish the concepts of «referencing» and «abstract», «summarizing» and «abstracting» are presented. The main types of abstracts in Chinese are listed and characterized. Analysis of the pieces of students' written speech activities reveals three groups of difficulties: difficulties arising from the peculiarities of perception and semantic processing of Chinese academic texts; difficulties associated with the writing of secondary texts of a genre, prevailing in the Chinese discursive space («literature review», «summary», «abstract of scientific paper», «abstract for bachelor's theses», etc.); difficulties associated with individual characteristics (psychophysiological, personality, cognitive) of students, as well as some features of the educational process (number of hours, the organization of control and self-control, the system of evaluation of abstracts and abstracts).