Iceland says no to huge Chinese land purchase

China tycoon slams Iceland over failed land bid
Iceland on Friday denied a request by property tycoon Huang Nubo to purchase a 300-square-kilometre (200-square-mile) swathe of land in the northern part of the island for a tourist resort.

"The denial reflects the unjust and parochial investment environment facing private Chinese enterprises abroad," Huang, founder of property company Zhongkun Group, said in an interview with the official China Daily newspaper...

"There are still double standards," he said, adding that foreign countries "encourage the opening of the Chinese market while they close their doors to Chinese investments."

In rejecting the request, Iceland's Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson said approval would set an unwelcome precedent.

"We are talking about a land purchase on such a large scale that if we had agreed to an exemption one could say that the law was null and void and... that anyone who applied for an exemption after this would be allowed to buy, simply because of such a precedent," he said...
China tycoon Huang Nubo angered by Iceland land move
Earlier this year Huang Nubo offered a billion krona (£5.4m; $8.8m) for the 300sq km (115 sq mile) Grimsstadir a Fjollum region.

But late last week Iceland's interior ministry said the deal did not comply with land sale rules.

Mr Huang accused the West of double standards.

"The rejection sent a message to Chinese investors that you are welcome to emigrate, or to buy properties and luxury goods, but if you want to engage in anything related with natural resources, you're not welcome here," he told the Global Times newspaper.

"We always hear some Western countries urging China to be more open, but at the same time, they set up trade barriers and guard against Chinese investors and companies."

Mr Huang had wanted to turn the land - about 0.3% of Iceland's total land mass - into an eco-tourist resort and golf course...

"The ministry believes that it's not possible to look past how much land the company wanted to purchase," it said in a statement.

"There is no precedent for land on this scale being sold to foreigners."
An excellent decision. Sell him the volcano instead.

File under: a just, parochial, and welcome precedent.


  1. "foreign countries "encourage the opening of the Chinese market while they close their doors to Chinese investments."

    Considering just about all our manufactured goods are made in China, he can hardly call us protectionist for not selling the family silver as well.

  2. Yeah, and by his twisted logic, the double standards will only be resolved when Western countries have no restrictions on foreign ownership while China still permits no foreign ownership. Go figure.

    The implication is they think we're mad. And I suppose there is good reason for them to think that, given our craven appeasement up til now.