People are flocking to swimming pools or taking refuge in caves to try and escape the intense heat, with dozens of heat-related deaths having been reported.
The worst hit areas have been the south and east parts of the country, with the city of Shanghai and its 23 million inhabitants having just experienced its hottest July in 140 years, according to state-run media. Temperatures in the city reached at least 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on 25 days in July, with at least ten people dying from heatstroke during the month.
The English-language newspaper Shanghai Daily reported a rising number of dead fish in ponds and rivers, which have also been blamed on the heat.
According to He Lifu, the chief weather forecaster at the National Meteorological Center, nearly a third of the country is experiencing the scorching heat, with some 19 provinces and regions affected, covering over 3 million square kilometers.
Areas in and around the eastern city of Hangzhou have recorded some of the highest temperatures, with state media reporting temperatures in the city rising above 40 degrees Celcius (104 Fahrenheit) on six days over the past week. The highest was in the district of Xiaoshan, where the thermometer reached 42.2 (108 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday.
The conditions are so hot in some cities that photos by state media have showed people frying eggs, bacon and shrimp in pans placed on the road surface.
And in the province of Zhejiang seven cities and counties used cloud-seeding techniques on Tuesday in an attempt to bring rain to parched farmland, said the China Daily.
The weather service says they expect the high temperatures to continue into the middle of August. Image/Reuters