The Belarusian dropped the opener to the Frenchwoman but then produced an unblemished display to triumph 6-1 6-0.
It was her first match since withdrawing from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last week.
"I hadn't really been practising at all. I knew when I went out there I wouldn't be playing perfectly," Azarenka told www.wtatennis.com.
"I was just trying to find my rhythm, feel the atmosphere and go for my shots, and I think I responded pretty well after dropping that game. I bounced back really well. Everything worked for me."
Azarenka was followed through by world number two Maria Sharapova although the Russian had to work much harder for her 7-5 7-5 win over Simona Halep.
"Certainly the scoreline was quite difficult, but I was up in those two sets and let her get back into it," Sharapova said.
"I put myself in a position in both sets, going up a break, and it wasn't the best thing to let her back in - but the good thing was I regained my focus and won that match, no matter how well she was playing and coming back. At the end of the day I'm happy I won in two sets."
Caroline Wozniacki required three sets to beat Chanelle Scheepers while there were also first-round wins for Sabine Lisicki, Sorana Cirstea, Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino and Polona Hercog.
In round two action, fourth seed Petra Kvitova was ousted 6-3 6-2 by Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.
Czech Kvitova was seemingly hampered by a leg injury and her opponent took full advantage.
Also through to round three are 11th seed Ana Ivanovic, a 4-6 7-5 6-1 winner against Varvara Lepchenko, and qualifier Elena Vesnina, who beat Tamira Paszek 7-6 (7/5) 6-2.
On the men's side, fourth seed Marin Cilic was beaten in round one by Romanian wild card entry Marius Copil 3-6 7-6 (7/0) 6-4.
"I think he served really well especially from that second set to when he broke me back in the third set," Cilic said.
"I always feel (Beijing) may be the best (tournament) in the year, and the conditions here suit my game almost perfectly.
"(I'm) really sad that I lost."
Eighth seed Fernando Verdasco is also out after going down in three sets to American Sam Querrey but sixth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov is through after beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-0 6-4.