A Chinese company called “Beijing Lunar Village Aeronautics and Technology Co Ltd,” but operating as the “Lunar Embassy to China,” offered land on the moon at the low, low price of 298 yuan (about $40) per acre. And just in case you need to check up on your plot, this ambitious company also registered to engage in space travel.
According to the company’s CEO, Li Jie, they sold 49 acres to 34 clients in the first 3 days of operations! Unfortunately for the Lunar Embassy, a Beijing court shut it down, citing a 1983 treated signed by China. The treaty provides that
outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by other means… The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries.
Snap! Naturally, with such a solid claim, the Lunar Embassy appealed … and lost again. The Chinese government revoked their business license, fined them 50,000 yuan (about $6,250 dollars), and ordered that the investors be refunded their money.