The pile-up occurred on Saturday after a heavy truck lost control and crashed into a line of vehicles waiting at a toll station on the Lanzhou-Haikou Expressway, state-run China Daily reported on Sunday.
Officials said another 44 people were injured in the pile-up at the toll station which is close to Lanzhou, capital of Gansu.
Investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, the report said.
Last week, 13 people were killed after a fist fight between a woman passenger and a driver caused a bus to plunge from a bridge into the mighty Yangtze River in southwest China.
Deadly road accidents are common in China, where traffic regulations are often flouted or go unenforced.Violations of traffic laws were blamed for nearly 90 per cent of accidents that caused deaths or injuries that year.