About this topic
Summary Tathāgatagarbha thought in Chinese Buddhism is a transmission and development of Tathāgatagarbha thought in Indian Buddhism. Literally meaning "Buddha-containing," the notion "tathagatagarbha" emphasizes that all sentient beings without exception contain (in what way, of course, is controversial) Buddhahood (Chinese: foxing 佛性). Historically speaking, probably three major phases can be discerned of the development of Tathāgatagara thought in China: (1) the translation of the Mahāyāna-parinirvāṇa-sūtra by Dharmakṣema in the early 5th century and the commentarial tradition initiated thereby; (2) the incorporation of Tathāgatagarbha thought into the Chinese Madhyamaka schools and the Consciousness-only School during the 6th century, claiming that the notion of "tathāgatagarbha" is compatible or even superior to the notions of "emptiness" and "consciousness-only." This culminates in the work entitled the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna, which later became the most influential Tathāgatagarbha text throughout East Asia; (3) the popularity of this trend of thought in China after the 9th century via the pervasiveness of Chan Buddhism, which is heavily influenced by the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna. The jury is still out regarding whether Tathāgatagarbha thought embodied in the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna deviates from its Indian predecessors.
Key works Much about the development of this filed remains murky.  Hakeda & Abe 2005 is a must read. Lai 1975 is a guide for how to read the Awakening of Faith in the Chinese Buddhist context. Liu 1985 touches upon the Chinese interpretation of Buddha-nature.
Introductions Williams 2008, Lai 2008 and Liu 1989 can be a good beginning.  
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  1. added 2019-07-27
    When There Are No More Cats to Argue About: Chan Buddhist Views of Animals in Relation to Universal Buddha‐Nature.Steven Heine - 2016 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 43 (3-4):239-258.
  2. added 2019-06-05
    The Lion’s Roar of Queen Srimala: A Buddhist Scripture on the Tathagatagarbha Theory.Diana Y. Paul, Alex Wayman & Hideko Wayman - 1974 - Philosophy East and West 26 (3):346.
  3. added 2018-05-05
    Buddha Nature and the Concept of Person.Sallie B. King - 1989 - Philosophy East and West 39 (2):151-170.
  4. added 2018-05-05
    Illusionism (Māyavāda) in Late T'ang Buddhism: A Hypothesis on the Philosophical Roots of the Round Enlightenment Sūtra (Yüan-Chüeh-Ching).Whalen W. Lai - 1978 - Philosophy East and West 28 (1):39-51.
  5. added 2016-01-07
    Philosophical Aspects of Sixth-Century Chinese Buddhist Debates on “Mind and Consciousness".Hans-Rudolf Kantor - 2014 - In Chen-Kuo Lin & Michael Radich (eds.), A Distant Mirror: Articulating Indic Ideas in Sixth and Seventh Century Chinese Buddhism. Hamburg University Press. pp. 337-395.
  6. added 2015-05-25
    Vasubandhu's Commentary to the "Saddharmapundarika-Sutra": A Study of its History and Significance.Terry Rae Abbott - 1985 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    The Saddharmapundarika-sutra-upadesa , composed by the eminent Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu in the fourth or fifth century A. D., has the important distinction of being the only Indian commentary on the Lotus Sutra to be preserved in any Buddhist canon. The Lotus Sutra, with a 2,000 year history spanning India, Central Asia, China and Japan, still remains one of the most important of all the Mahayana Sutras. ;This dissertation on Vasubandhu's commentary to the Lotus Sutra is comprised of three parts: Part (...)
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  7. added 2015-05-25
    Tathāgatagarbha Thought: A Basis of Buddhist Devotionalism in East Asia.Kiyota Minoru - 1985 - Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 12 (2-3):207-231.
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  8. added 2014-04-02
    The Manifestation of the Absolute in the Phenomenal World: Nature Origination in Huayan Exegesis.Imre Hamar - 2007 - Bulletin de L'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient 94:229-250.
  9. added 2014-03-16
    Chinese Buddhist Philosophy From Han Through Tang.Whalen Lai - 2008 - In Bo Mou (ed.), Routledge History of Chinese Philosophy. Routledge.
  10. added 2014-02-27
    The Awakening Of Faith In Mahayana (Ta-Ch'eng Ch'i-Hsin Lun): A Study Of the Unfolding Of Sinitic Mahayana Motifs.Whalen Lai - 1975 - Dissertation, Harvard University
  11. added 2014-02-19
    Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations.Paul Williams - 2008 - Routledge.
    Buddhism enthusiasts that the tathAgatagarbha sources were themselves aware of the criticism that they simply taught an Atman in the same way that non- Buddhists did, and they rejected this accusation and defended themselves against the ...
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  12. added 2014-02-19
    The Awakening of Faith: Attributed to Asvaghosha.Yoshito S. Hakeda & Ryuichi Abe - 2005 - Columbia University Press.
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  13. added 2013-10-25
    Studies of the works and influence of Paramartha 真諦三蔵研究論集.Toru Funayama (ed.) - 2012
  14. added 2013-10-25
    Yogâcāra Buddhism Transmitted or Transformed? Paramârtha (499-569) and His Chinese Interpreters.Ching Keng - 2009 - Dissertation, Harvard University
    This dissertation argues that the Yogâcāra Buddhism transmitted by the Indian translator Paramârtha (Ch. Zhendi 真諦) underwent a significant transformation due to the influence of his later Chinese interpreters, a phenomenon to which previous scholars failed to paid enough attention. I begin with showing two contrary interpretations of Paramârtha’s notion of jiexing 解性. The traditional interpretation glosses jiexing in terms of “original awakening” (benjue 本覺) in the Awakening of Faith and hence betrays its strong tie to that text. In contrast, (...)
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  15. added 2013-10-25
    Dao Must Flow Freely—The De-Substantialization of Buddha Nature in Huineng Chan.Youru Wang - 2006 - International Journal for Field-Being 5 (1).
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  16. added 2013-10-25
    Reification and Deconstruction of Buddha Nature in Chinese Chan.Youru Wang - 2003 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 3 (1):63-84.
  17. added 2013-10-25
    The Early Development of the Buddha-Nature Doctrine in China.Ming-Wood Liu - 1989 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 16 (1):1-36.
  18. added 2013-10-25
    The Yogācārā and Mādhyamika Interpretations of the Buddha-Nature Concept in Chinese Buddhism.Ming-Wood Liu - 1985 - Philosophy East and West 35 (2):171-193.
  19. added 2013-10-25
    Philosophy of Mind in Sixth-Century China: Paramārtha's "Evolution of Consciousness".Diana Y. Paul - 1984 - Stanford University Press.
    Of the many translators who carried the Buddhist doctrine to China, Paramartha, a missionary-monk who arrived in China in AD 546, ranks as the translator par excellence of the sixth century. Introducing philosophical ideas that would subsequently excite the Chinese imagination to develop the great schools of Sui and T'ang Buddhism, Paramartha's translations are almost exclusively of Yogacara Buddhist texts on the nature of the mind and consciousness. This first study of Paramartha in a Western language focuses on the Chuan (...)
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  20. added 2013-10-25
    Sinitic Speculations on Buddha-Nature: The Nirvāṇa School (420-589).Whalen Lai - 1982 - Philosophy East and West 32 (2):135-149.
  21. added 2013-10-25
    The Mind as the Buddha-Nature: The Concept of the Absolute in Ch 'an Buddhism'.Yün-hua Jan - 1981 - Philosophy East and West 31 (4):467-477.