Mesoporous Co3O4 nanoplates were successfully prepared by the conversion of hexagonal beta-Co(OH)(2) nanoplates. TEM, HRTEM and N-2 sorption analysis confirmed the facet crystal structure and inner mesoporous architecture. When applied as anode materials for lithium storage in lithium ion batteries, mesoporous Co3O4 nanocrystals delivered a high specific capacity. At 10 degrees C current rate, as-prepared mesoporous Co3O4 nanoplates delivered a specific capacity of 1203 mAh/g at first cycle and after 200 cycles it can still maintain a satisfied value (330 mAh/g). Fromex-situ TEM, SAED and FESEM observation, it was found that mesoporous Co3O4 nanoplates were reduced to Li2O and Co during the discharge process and re-oxidised without losing the mesoporous structure during charge process. Even after 100 cycles, mesoporous Co3O4 crystals still preserved their pristine hexagonal shape and mesoporous nanostructure.