Police have taken the suspect into custody.
Seven middle school students died and another 12 were injured after being attacked after school at about 6:10 pm on Friday in Mizhi, Shaanxi province, the local government said.
Chinese police reported the motive for the killing of high school students in Shaanxi province.
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No details have been released of the deceased and injured children, however, students from the middle school are usually between 12 and 15 years old.
China Global Television Network tweeted out video of the crime scene and the man being detained. News reports identified him as the suspect.
The country has seen a number of knife attacks in recent years.
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Past year in Shenzhen, in south-eastern China, a man fatally stabbed two people with a kitchen knife and wounded nine others at a supermarket.
The attack occurred at about 3:10 p.m. outside the school as the children were leaving for the day.
Experts have pointed to a lack of high-quality mental health care in China and anxieties caused by social upheaval and persistent inequality in explaining the attacks.
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A spate of unconnected stabbings at Chinese schools between 2010 and 2012 left at least 25 dead and more than 100 injured. Knives are most commonly used because gun controls are extremely strict in China.