"China’s constitution lays down the principle of collective ownership of land as the basis for its socialist economic system. But thousands of farmers, in direct violation of this principle, are demanding privatization of rural land (CSMonitor) and are unilaterally dividing up collective holdings among themselves.
Discontent among peasants has become one of the major causes for protests in the country. All land in the rural areas is owned by village collectives; each household is allocated a share, which gives land-use rights under thirty-year contracts. To feed China’s economic boom, local officials—usually at the village level—requisition land for sale to manufacturers or property developers. Farmers allege that the process is rife with corruption, with local officials profiting from these development projects and farmers not given adequate compensation." (Thanks D.)
Read the full article, it is short and very interesting (if you're interested in land tenure).