Typhoon Usagi, which was the season's strongest storm at its peak, forced hundreds of flight cancellations and shut down shipping and train lines before weakening to a tropical depression over the southern Chinese province of Guangdong yesterday.
China said 25 deaths occurred in Guangdong, where the typhoon made landfall late on Sunday night near Shanwei with record sustained winds for the city of 109mph.
Earlier, the storm had been a super typhoon when it passed between Taiwan and the Philippines, sparing both of them the brunt of the winds.
However, Philippine officials said eight people were dead from drowning and landslides and Taiwan authorities reported nine people hurt by falling trees.
The storm wreaked havoc on travel plans just as many passengers were returning home after an extended weekend for the Chinese mid-autumn festival.
More than 250 incoming and outgoing flights were cancelled in Hong Kong, and an additional 200 were delayed.
At least 13 of the 25 victims in China were killed in worst-hit Shanwei city, where winds blew cars off the road near a petrol station and houses were toppled.
China's National Meterological Centre said the typhoon would continue to weaken as it moves north-west and bring heavy rains to five southern provinces.
In the Philippines, parts of the capital Manila remained submerged yesterday and classes in schools were cancelled.