Thursday, 19 July, 2018

China's HNA boss Wang Jian's death in France likely an accident

Wang Jian of HNA Group AFPWang Jian has died during a business trip in France
Elsie Buchanan | 05 July, 2018, 07:56

HNA Group Co., the once-acquisitive Chinese conglomerate that's been selling billions of dollars in assets this year amid soaring borrowing costs, said that Co-Chairman Wang Jian died after an accident in Provence, France.

HNA is now in the process of selling down some of its worldwide assets in a bid to reduce its domestic debt built up during a rapid expansion in recent years.

However, broadcaster France Bleu reported on Tuesday that a man fitting Wang's description had fallen more than 10 meters (33 feet) to his death while attempting to take a photo from a wall.

Wang was in charge of HNA's strategy and ran day-to-day operations, sources familiar with the matter have said, while his fellow chairman and co-founder Chen Feng was often the public face of the group.

"HNA Group extends deepest condolences to Mr. Wang's family and many friends", HNA's board and management team said in a statement.

"Wang's passing will mark the end of an era of aggressive expansion by HNA", Corrine Png, chief executive at the Singapore-based research firm Crucial Perspective, told the Bloomberg financial news agency.

Social media posts about Wang's death appeared to have been censored on China's tightly controlled internet soon after the news was announced by the group. Police said they were not treating his death as suspicious.

92-year-old US woman kills son to avoid nursing home
Then the 92-year-old woman pulled out the second pistol, but her son's girlfriend was able to knock it from her hand. Blessing said her son told her he was going to put her in a care home because she "had become hard to live with".


"He tried to climb a low wall to see the view and take pictures", the source said.

Wang was one of the founders of HNA, which started out as a regional airline more than 20 years ago and grew into a Fortune 500 company.

Launched in 1993 on the southern island of Hainan, HNA expanded into finance, hotels, logistics and other businesses in a multibillion-dollar global acquisition spree.

Jian, who was 57 years old, died in an accident, the company said.

According to a pledge signed by the 12 stakeholders, Wang's shares will now be split between the NY and Hainan branches of the Hainan Cihang Charity Foundation, which own the majority stake in the HNA Group.

Wang obtained an undergraduate degree in Aviation Management from Civil Aviation University of China in 1983, and a master's degree in business administration from Holland Maastricht School of Management in 1995, according to HNA.

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