The victim was an 80-year-old man from China’s Hubei province, according to French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.
He arrived in France on 16 January and was placed in quarantine in hospital in Paris on 25 January, she said.
Only three deaths had previously been reported outside mainland China – in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.
However, more than 1,500 people have died from the virus within China, mostly in Hubei where it first emerged.
A further 2,641 people have been newly confirmed as infected, bringing the China’s total to 66,492.