Then facing set point, the Czech struck a crosscourt backhand wide to drop serve, her 17th unforced error of the set.
Serving in set two at 1 all, Sharapova struck two double-faults before netting a crosscourt forehand to lose serve.
Kvitova broke serve for a second time behind powerful groundstrokes such as a 93 miles per hour forehand down the line winner before taking set two.
After a seven minutes long break, Sharapova cut several errors from her game and hit more aggressively from the baseline to start set three with a break of serve to lead 3-0.
Kvitova held serve then broke serve to reach 3-2.
Sharapova then broke serve before holding serve to lead 5-2.
Serving to stay in the match, the Czech then saved a match point and survived a nine minutes long game in which Sharapova struck a rare overhead winner before holding serve to reach 5-3.
Kvitova struck two forehands long before netting a crosscourt backhand to face a second match point.
The Czech then netted a backhand return to end the match after two hours and 28 minutes of play.
The Beijing title would be the 33rd career title for Sharapova and will on Monday see her ascend from number four to number two in the WTA Tour rankings.