The incident was filmed by a witness standing on the sidelines and was later uploaded to social media where it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
The violence took place in an unknown Chinese city and the footage shows a group of bystanders including police surrounding the wife who grabs the alleged "homewrecker" by the hair.
The younger woman was caught red-handed together with the cheating spouse and was dragged onto the street for some very public punishment, according to reports.
While the wife holds the woman by the hair, she hits her with one of the victim’s own shoes and can be heard screaming: "I’ve been trying to catch you for four years."
The stunned officers try to make the wife let go of her victim’s black locks, but the incensed wife says she will only do so if the mistress "admits to everyone" what she had done.
Eventually the officers persuade the wife to let go, and both parties were detained for questioning.
The wife is expected to be fined for intentionally injuring the mistress, while the victim may escape without any punishment at all if she is found not to have retaliated.
Mistress beatings are common in China where there are no laws against adultery.
Spouses found cheating are only punishable by law if they are found guilty of getting married twice.