I had exactly the same problem today after updating from an older tetex/context to the latest version of tetex.
Problem seems to be some modifications in pdftex.
After moving my type1 fonts (that previously worked fine) with their tfm, afm and type1 files to the new $HOME/.texmf-var/fonts folder, putting the map files in $HOME/.texmf-var/fonts/map folder and including those mapfiles with updmap, texexec generated the pdf file with pk bitmap fonts.
Although I believed that tex could find all necessary font files and mapfiles, it was only after explicitly adding
in the tex file, that everything suddenly worked fine (this was not necessary in my old tetex/context setup).
Don't know if this will work with your chinese fonts, but you could give it a try....