In PR China, during most of the Communist era, private ownership of real property was abolished. The central government officially owned all real estate. More recently, China has begun to accept private ownership of real estate. Discontent arose among the people over accusations of illegal land seizures by developers and corruption by complicit government officials.
A number of high-profile nail houses have received widespread attention in the Chinese press.
Chongqing most awesome nail house
In one famous case that took much attention in Arpil 2007, one family among 280 others at the location of a six-story shopping mall under construction at the location of a former "snack street" in Chongqing refused for two years to vacate a home their family had inhabited for three generations.
Developers cut their power and water, and excavated a 10-meter deep pit around their home. The owners broke into the construction site, reoccupied it, and flew a Chinese flag on top. Yang Wu, a local martial arts champion, used nunchakus to make a staircase to their house, and threatened to beat any authorities who attempted to evict him. His wife, a restaurateur named Wu Ping granted interviews and frequent press releases to generate publicity.
The owners turned down an offer of 3.5 million yuan (US$453,000), but eventually settled with the developers in 2007.
A bulldozer demolishes the "nail house" in the center of a 10-meter-deep pit dug by the real estate developer in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on the evening of April 2, 2007. Wu Ping and Yang Wu, the owner of the only two-story brick building, left their house on Monday afternoon after reaching an agreement over the compensation with the developer through six times of mediation of local court, local media reported. The real amount of compensation is not disclosed.
Self immolation of Mother and daughter to protest against demolition of their house in Yihuang of Jiangxi
On September 10,2010, three people (mother, daughter, and family friend) set themselves on fire to protest the demolition of their home to make way for a so called public transportation project in Yihuang County, Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province.
The family friend, Mr. Ye Zhongcheng,aged 79, died of his wounds and the mother (Luo Zhifeng) and daughter (Zhong Ruqin), were seriously injured. That day officials of Yihuang tried to contain the people in house so that they could demolish the house.
Ms. Zhong Ruqin fell off the top of the house like a fire ball. The mother and daughter were seriously injured.
Kunming nail house besieged by 2-meter deep moat around it, windows shot through
On October 28,2010, developer dug the ditch around Zhao's house in Zhaojiadui, Kunming and subsequent rains have filled it with water, creating a moat that Zhao must cross to leave or return to his house.
Mr. Zhao said, the ditch first appeared on 21th, and was widened and deepened twice, and now it was about 2 meters deep and 5 meters wide. It is so wide and deep that his 83 year old mother was not able to get out to the street while he himself has to walk out through big stones filled in the moat and climb up the bank with great effort.
On October 28, Mr. Zhao found his windows were shot through. The watery moat around the lone but stubborn house. Asked why he did not move, Mr. Zhao said that his house was built on state-owned land, but the developer would compensate according to commune-owned land standard which is significantly lower. So he and his family did not sign the agreement.
On October 29, Mr. Cao Wu, resident in nearby Lijiadui No. 287, was beaten by two unidentified thugs and results in multiple injures on his head, arms and hands. Mr. Cao also disagrees to the demolition and relocation agreement and has conflicts with the same developer. These incidents are still under investigation.
Man set himself on fire to protest against forceful demolition of his home by real estate developer in Heilongjiang
Mishan city, Heilongjiang Province, on October 30, 2010, Mr. Cui Dexi, aged 70, set fire on himself on top of his own house in order to prevent his house from being forcefully demolished while the officials dictating demolition on spot watched by and did not conducted timely rescue. The protester has severe burns on his face, arms and hands.
Mr. Cui was in fire. Mishan of Heilongjiang Province introduced up to 15 real estate developers for re-construction of many areas of the old city subdivision during the last two years. A development project "Ping An Jia Yuan"(or peaceful and safe homeland) will relocate 45 housholds, among which 9 housholds including Mr. Cui demand higher compensation.
But their demands are refused by the developer and the government. The government only wants to compensate 600,000 RMB for Mr. Cui's 100 square meters house. The incident happened during the on-spot negotiation between Mr. Cui's family and dozens of government officals led by vice city mayor of Mishan.
The "negotiation" took place on top of Mr. Cui's house. Mr. Cui was escorted down his house after fire was turned off.
Topless woman protests against violent demolition of her home in Hubei
Yichang, Hubei, on September 30,2011, a woman stood on top of a 7-story building,crying and shouting to protest against violent demolition of her house. The lady wore only a bra on upper half of her body.
On the banner:Protesting strongly against CBD developer forcefully demolishing my house, I do not ask an outrageous price.
The woman even wanted to take her trousers off in order to attrack more attention.
Yichang - On the street facing the building, parents of the woman held plates on their chest accusing violent demolition of their house by New Hengji Developer. On the banner:Bring New Hengji Developer to justice for hiring thugs to assault us. Defend the dignity of Property Rights Law and we will not fear sacrifice to fight against barbarous demolition of our house.