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We investigated how covert narcissism influences depression through shame-focused coping strategies, and tested the moderating effect of self-compassion in this mediating link. Participants were 316 Chinese international students living in South Korea who completed a battery of measures, including the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale, the Compass of Shame Scale, the depression items of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, and the Chinese Self-Compassion Scale. We found an association between covert narcissism and depression, and this link was mediated by the shame-focused coping strategies of attack self and withdrawal. Further, self-compassion had a significant moderating effect in the relationship between covert narcissism and the coping strategies of attack self or withdrawal. These findings support a moderated mediation model in which self-compassion buffered the relationship between covert narcissism and depression by mediating the link between covert narcissism and the attack self and withdrawal coping strategies. Our findings may be useful for understanding and helping individuals who have a high level of covert narcissism.