Svalbard plot owners deny ever hearing from ‘only bidder’ Huang Nubo

“There has never been any form of contact with Huang Nubo, either from the Horn family […] or from anyone representing” them, says Sveinung O. Flaaten, a lawyer for the family to Norwegian newspaper VG, days after Mr Huang was quoted by national broadcaster NRK as calling himself the “only” bidder in “one-to-one talks” with the Horns to buy their 200 km2 plot on Svalbard and build a tourist resort. “One can only speculate about what Huang Nubo wishes to achieve by spreading such disinformation,” adds Flaaten.

Huang had given NRK an interview in Beijing, and quotes from it appeared in a couple of articles on NRK’s website (some translated and linked to in my two posts on the subject). NRK news show Dagsrevyen also aired part of that interview, specifically those where Huang estimates the price being talked about (above $4m) and describes what he would like to build there. Huang’s Chinese and the Norwegian subtitles match just fine, so a translation error would seem to be out of the question. Either Huang or NRK’s Beijing correspondent Anders Magnus somehow mixing up the Svalbard plot and the two-hundred times smaller property Huang is (for sure) buying in mainland Norway is also rather unlikely.

Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Commerce tells how, in the days following NRK’s airing of the interview, their representation in Norway has been “constantly receiving phone enquiries and visits from Norwegian property and tourism businesspeople” who expressed their willingness to work with Huang.

The Norwegian government now also say they’ll try to buy the land.

Last winter, another little scandal about Huang reportedly offering $200k to buy some wine from 1653 in Bremen ended with a translator being blamed for it all.