Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) data are widely used for land-surface flux simulations. Therefore, the simulation accuracy using GLDAS dataset is largely contingent upon the accuracy of the GLDAS dataset. It is found that GLDAS land-surface model simulated runoff exhibits strong anomalies for 1996. These anomalies are investigated by evaluating four GLDAS meteorological forcing data (precipitation, air temperature, downward shortwave radiation and downward longwave radiation) in six large basins across the world (Danube, Mississippi, Yangtze, Congo, Amazon and Murray-Darling basins). Precipitation data from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) are also compared with GLDAS forcing precipitation data. Large errors and lack of monthly variability in GLDAS-1996 precipitation data are the main sources for the anomalies in the simulated runoff. The impact of the precipitation data on simulated runoff for 1996 is investigated with the Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange (CABLE) land-surface model in the Yangtze basin, for which area high-quality local precipitation data are obtained from the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). The CABLE model is driven by GLDAS daily precipitation data and CMA daily precipitation, respectively. The simulated daily and monthly runoffs obtained from CMA data are noticeably better than those obtained from GLDAS data, suggesting that GLDAS-1996 precipitation data are not so reliable for land-surface flux simulations.