It happened in the city of Quanzhou, in southeastern Fujian Province, according to reports.
At least 23 people were subsequently rescued, Reuters reported, citing government officials. Ten more were subsequently pulled from the rubble.
No reason for the collapse was given.
Videos posted on social media show emergency workers combing through the building's wreckage, the BBC reported.
Chinese media reports said the Xinjia Express Hotel had 80 guest rooms on five floors.
Local government officials confirmed the hotel had been turned into a coronavirus quarantine center and was one of two in the district, the South China Morning Post reported, citing the Beijing News.
Another newspaper reported the hotel's room housed people under quarantine after coming in close contact with coronavirus patients, the Morning Post reported.
A man living across the road from the collapsed hotel said he thought the collapse was an explosion, the paper reported.
“I was just having dinner and I suddenly heard a loud bang and thought it was an explosion. It was not until I ran to my balcony that I saw that the entire hotel building had collapsed,” he was quoted as saying.