Rationally designed nanocomposites with effective surface modification are important to improve the electrochemical performance of Li-ion batteries. Carbon coatings as an economical and practically feasible approach, which would provide good conductivity and promote Li-ion diffusion, leading to improved electrochemical performance. Mn3O4@C core-shell nanorods were prepared using the synchronous reduction and decomposition of acetylene. The resulting Mn3O4@C core-shell nanorods possess a one dimensional shape, porous structure and uniform carbon layer (���3 nm), which result in electrochemical stability. When tested as anodes, they deliver a specific capacity of 765 mA h g-1 after 100 cycles at a current density of 500 mA g-1, which is considerably higher than pure Mn3O4 nanorods. Even at a current density of 2 A g-1, the Mn3O4@C core-shell nanorods can maintain 380 mA h g-1. Their excellent lithium storage performance can be ascribed to the uniform carbon coating layer as well as their unique one dimensional porous structure.