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Chairman of Giant Chinese Conglomerate Dies in Fall

HNA Group chairman Wang Jian was in France on a business trip
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2018 6:01 AM CDT
This undated photo provided on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, by the HNA Group shows HNA Group co-chairman Wang Jian.   (HNA Group via AP)

(Newser) – The chairman of one of China's largest conglomerates died in an accidental fall in Provence, France, Tuesday, the BBC reports. HNA Group co-founder Wang Jian was in the country on a business trip; he was having his photo taken while on a sightseeing jaunt in Bonnieux when the 57-year-old reportedly fell some 50 feet. The New York Times has this quote from local police: "He wanted to have his picture taken by someone in his group," and after climbing onto a low wall "he fell backwards, 10 to 15 meters further below."

Described as "one of the world's biggest companies" and among "China’s most acquisitive conglomerates," HNA Group owns China's fourth-largest airline, Hainan Airlines, among other finance, hotel, and logistics businesses, reports the AP. But Bloomberg also describes it as one of the country's "most indebted companies," a position it was trying to reverse by offloading real estate and its stakes in Deutsche Bank and Hilton. The Times has more on its financial difficulties here. (Read more fall stories.)

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