Photochemical smog, characterized by high concentrations of ozone (O3) and fine particles (PM2.5) in the atmosphere, has become one of the top environmental concerns in China. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), one of the key precursors of O3 and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) (an important component of PM2.5), have a critical influence on atmospheric chemistry and subsequently affect regional and global climate. Thus, VOCs have been extensively studied in many cities and regions in China, especially in the North China Plain, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions where photochemical smog pollution has become increasingly worse over recent decades. This paper reviews the main studies conducted in China on the characteristics and sources of VOCs, their relationship with O3 and SOA, and their removal technology. This paper also provides an integrated literature review on the formulation and implementation of effective control strategies of VOCs and photochemical smog, as well as suggestions for future directions of VOCs study in China.