Three men armed with knives went on the attack in northwestern China early Wednesday, killing as many as eight people before police shot them dead, according to local media.
The stabbings unfolded in the Xinjiang region, a hotbed of activity linked to Uighur separatists, the South China Morning Post reported.
At least five other people were wounded in Wednesday's stabbings in Pishan county.
Beijing took steps to tighten border controls around Xinjiang last month, citing rising terror threats.
Most in the Uighur ethnic group are Muslim and culturally distinct from the Chinese, according to experts. Many Uighurs already face tough restrictions on where they can work and travel, including extreme difficulties in obtaining passports.
Xinjiang shares a border with Afghanistan, Pakistan and four nations in the often volatile Central Asian region, whose native populations share ethnic, linguistic and religious links with Uighurs. Uighur extremists have also been reported to have joined the fighting in Syria and were blamed for a deadly attack on a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
In December, three knife-wielding attackers wounded staff at a Communist Party office in southern Xinjiang's Hotan region and set off an explosive device, killing two and injuring three others. Police shot and killed those attackers as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.