November 09, 2005

Chinese Company Imitates P.T. Barnum

"There's a sucker born every minute" is an oft-quoted phrase attributed to the famous 19th century huckster. Well in China, where the population is well over one billion, there must me several born every minute. Apparently, there is a company over there that just had its license suspended for trying to sell real estate on the moon.

The Beijing Lunar Village Aeronautics Science and Technology Co. managed to sell large swathes of pristine lunar property before being shut down, the state -owned Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

The company, claiming to act on behalf of an entity referred to as the Lunar Embassy in China, charged 298 yuan (37 US dollars) for each acre (0.4 hectare) on the moon, according to the report.

Each lucky new owner of lunar soil was issued a "certificate" that ensured property ownership including rights to use the land and minerals up to three kilometers (1.9 miles) underground, Xinhua said.

Li Jie, CEO of Lunar Embassy, said that 34 clients bought 49 acres (20 hectares) of land on the moon in the first three days after his company became operational last month.

Actually when you think about it, this scam isn't all that different than the one pulled here in America for the International Star Registry. But then, at least in this case you can actually see the moon with the unaided eye.

Barnum would find it all very amusing. So many suckers, so little time.

Posted by: Gary at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I'm sure the Chinese government was upset not because it was a scam, but because it acknowledged the existence of property rights.

Posted by: The Unabrewer at November 10, 2005 10:38 PM (CDwI3)

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