Chun-Li moves from San Francisco to Hong Kong with her family. While practicing to be a concert pianist, she learns wushu from her father, businessman Xiang. The family lives a normal life until they are attacked one night by thugs working for the criminal organization Shadaloo, with Xiang being abducted in front of Chun-Li. Chun-Li grows up and becomes a talented pianist. At the end of her concert, she receives a mysterious scroll written in ancient Chinese text. Shortly after, she loses her mother to cancer. Meanwhile, at Shadaloo headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, crime boss M.Bison announces his complete control of the organization before he has the other shareholders executed by one of his henchmen, Vega. It is also revealed that Xiang is still alive and working for him.
The next day, Royal Thai Police detective Maya Sunee meets Interpol agent Charlie Nash, when both are called to investigate the murder of several crime syndicate families in Bangkok, with Nash determining Shadaloo perpetrated these crimes. In Hong Kong, an elderly woman translates Chun-Li’s scroll and tells her to travel to Bangkok and find a man named Gen. Chun-Li then leaves her home and travels to Bangkok, living homeless and searching for Gen for several days. A fight with local gangsters one night leaves her unconscious, and Gen appears and takes her to his home. Gen tells Chun-Li that he was once a comrade of Bison, and knows how to find her father. For the next few days, he teaches her his style of martial arts. Chun-Li also learns more about Bison, who is operating Shadaloo publicly, and is holding the families of property owners hostage in order to force them to sign their property over to him. While spying on Bison’s henchman Balrog, she overhears a property owner being asked to hand over the rights to a docking harbor, allowing the shipment of the “White Rose”.
Later that night, Chun-Li confronts Cantana, one of Bison’s secretaries, in a nightclub. She obtains information on the location of the White Rose before escaping from Shadaloo’s thugs and Nash and Maya. As a result of this incident, Cantana is murdered the next morning by Bison. During lunch, Gen reveals more of Bison’s past; he was born in Bangkok to Irish missionaries but abandoned as an infant, grew up an orphan and lived his life as a thief. He killed his pregnant wife and transferred his consciousness into their prematurely born daughter. After telling Chun-Li to go and fetch some food, Gen is attacked by Shadaloo troops and Balrog blows up his house. Chun-Li runs off when she is attacked by Vega, whom she defeats and leaves hanging by the side of a building.
Chun-Li interrogates a harbor employee who tells her the arrival time of the White Rose. She returns to the shipping yard that night, but is captured by Bison and his soldiers. Tied up and taken into an undisclosed house, she is reunited with Xiang, only for Bison to murder him. After Bison and Balrog leave the house, Chun-Li uses her skills to defeat the guards and escape during which she is shot in the arm while trying to protect a child. Angered Thai locals then pelt Balrog and other Shadaloo henchmen with fruits, food, and other merchandise. Chun-Li is reunited with Gen, who heals her wounds and continues with her training.
Despite being taken off the assignment, Nash is secretly asked by Chun-Li to back her up in taking down Bison. Nash and Chun-Li, along with Maya and her SWAT team, arrive at the shipping yard, where they engage in a shootout with Shadaloo forces. Chun-Li enters a ship and meets a Russian-speaking girl who asks for her father before leaving her to continue her search for Bison. In another part of the ship Gen faces off against Balrog, ultimately impaling him with a liquid nitrogen pipe. Bison takes the girl, who is revealed to be his daughter Rose, and flees the scene by helicopter. Chun-Li, Gen, Nash and a SWAT officer arrive at Bison’s headquarters, where Nash and the officer take Rose out to safety while Chun-Li and Gen face Bison. After a long battle, Chun-Li hits Bison with a bamboo pole and drops sandbags on him, stunning him. She then charges up a Kikoken and shoots it at him, knocking him off the scaffolding before she jumps and twists his neck with her legs. Nash tells Chun-Li to leave the scene as Thai police arrive.
Chun-Li returns to her home in Hong Kong and settles down, then Gen pays her a visit. He shows her a newspaper advert for an upcoming Street Fighter tournament, telling her that a Japanese fighter named Ryu might be a recruit for their cause. She declines the offer, telling him she is home for now.