Q fever, first described in 1937, is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii that has long been considered an under-reported and under-diagnosed illness. In China, the disease was initially reported in 1950 and in the last 25 years (1989–2013) there have been 29 reports on Q fever in China, nearly half of which were in the last 5 years. These publications have largely been in Chinese and in this review we summarize their findings to enable a better understanding of Q fever in China. The overall prevalence of C. burnetii infections in the reports is 10% (1139/11 209) in people, 15% (288/1918) in cattle and 12% (176/1440) in goats. These infections occurred widely in China with positive people and/or animals reported in 64 cities/municipalities from 19 provinces, particularly those in the eastern, western and northern areas. Cattle and goats had the highest seroprevalences of all the domestic animals studied and a wide variety of ticks were found to be infected. Mice were also commonly infected and had high copy numbers of C. burnetii DNA, suggesting they might be important in the epidemiology of Q fever in China.