A public hearing will be held Tuesday over the decision of Beijing's industrial and commercial watchdog to revoke the business license of a Chinese company for allegedly selling land on the moon.
The so-called "Lunar Embassy to China" appealed for a public hearing the second day after it received the decision of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce to revoke its business license and fine the company for 50,000 yuan (about 6,170 US dollars) on Nov. 23, Beijing Morning Post reported on Monday.
Sources with the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce said that the decision was made on the ground that the "Lunar Embassy" is engaged in speculation and profiteering to sell land on the moon. The administration also urged the company to return the money to registered clients.
"The decision is wrong and I will state my reasons at Tuesday's hearing," said Li Jie, chief executive officer of Beijing Lunar Village Aeronautics Science and Technology Co. Ltd.
The "Lunar Embassy" had previously filed a lawsuit against Beijing's industrial and commercial watchdog after its business license was suspended for allegedly selling land on the moon.
Haidian District Court has accepted the lawsuit but did not inform the "Lunar Embassy" when the case would be heard, Li said.
Li Jie requested the court to undo an earlier ruling by the industrial and commercial authorities and return all the company's property it has detained, including a business license, official seal and "title deeds" that promise ownership of land on the moon.
The industrial and commercial watchdog had the company's business license suspended on Oct. 28 on the ground of speculation and profiteering.
Li's company was registered on Sept. 5 and became operational on Oct. 19. It claimed that one can buy an acre on the moon for 298 yuan (37 US dollars) through its service. It issued customers a "title deed" that ensured property ownership including the rights to use the land and minerals up to three kilometers underground.
An earlier report said 34 clients bought 49 acres of land on the moon in the first three days after the company started operation. The deals involve more than 14,000 yuan (1,700 US dollars).