"Their phones definitely don't smell Nokia, but rather of some China factory product ...".
No it's Foxconn and quite a few phones smell Foxconn.
But about HMD, according to the Wiki:
"HMD Global Oy, branded as HMD, is a Finnish mobile phone company, made up of the mobile phone business that Nokia had sold to Microsoft in 2014, then bought back in 2016. HMD Oy (limited company) began marketing smartphones and feature phones under the Nokia brand on 1 December 2016." ......
"HMD is headquartered in Espoo, Finland,opposite Nokia's head office, and the company is largely run by former Nokia executives. The first CEO was Arto Nummela, a Nokia veteran for 17 years, until July 2017 when President Florian Seiche took over as CEO. Manufacturing is outsourced to Foxconn. Nokia has no investment in HMD but remains a partner, setting mandatory requirements and providing patents and technologies, in return for royalty payments." ......
HMD are based at the Nokia Campus in Karaportti in Espoo, Finland, opposite Nokia Corporation's headquarters. HMD's other main offices are located in London, England; Noida, India and Dubai, UAE."
As for who owns the company try this link (in Finnish) :