For some countries to apply for a visa you must provide proof of:
- Travelling to and/or from the country, sometimes the document even specifies flight ticket.
- Accommodation booked, sometimes just the first night is necessary.
Now when you intend to travel independently by crossing the border by land when you get there by whichever means makes sense at the time, and staying first at whichever city or town you reach - the advice given on many forums, and also here on travel.SE is to just book some transportation and accommodation that you will cancel later.
But can this ever lead to problems? Is the information you provided for your visa application binding in any way?
In the case that this is too hard to answer in the general case, an answer specifically for China is also acceptable.
So far this question has two speculative answers based on guessing what might happen. What I am looking for is more solid information, such as actual laws on this topic from any country, notices or warnings posted at embassies or travel advisories, news reports, blog postings, or forum postings of anybody's personal story where this did turn out to be a real factor. Or if it happened to you yourself! Getting an answer by calling or visiting a consulate or immigration office might also work, but might cause suspicion if you do it while actually applying for a visa.