The child was killed Wednesday morning in a rural area of Fujian, China Daily reported.
The driver was pushing mud on a field belonging to Chen Saijiao, 54, of Linqian village and she was trying to get him to leave, but communication was difficult because they spoke different dialects and the man accidentally backed over the girl who was playing behind the bulldozer, investigators said.
Pictures of the girl's family posted on Chinese social media sparked an angry reaction, CNN reported.
The work by the bulldozer was perceived to be part of a "land grab" by local officials.
One of many messages on the micro-blogging service Sina Weibo said "there are so many people killed or disabled because of land grabs in China, and [the officials] usually resolve these things with little compensation."