Xinhua did not provide more details about the Saturday evening attack at the Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province, and the attackers were not identified. Kunming city police did not have immediate information to release.
Local television station K6 says that several of the attackers were shot by police and that victims were being transported to local hospitals.
Photos circulating online showed scattered luggage and bodies lying on the floor in blood.
The motive behind the attack was not immediately clear, but China has seen a number of mass stabbings and other attacks carried out by people bearing grudges against society.