The Korean trio of Ki Bo-bae, Lee Sung-jin and Choi Hyeon-ju scored 210 points from their 24 arrows to beat the Chinese by a single point.
The gold medal will be met with elation and relief back in South Korea after the men's team, champions in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, had to settle for bronze after losing to the United States in the semi-final.
South Korea's women have now won 13 of the last 14 archery gold medals and will be heavy favourites to add to their tally in the individual event.
It was the third Olympics in a row where China had finished second best to the South Koreans.
- South Korea