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HNA’s chairman and CEO are both suspected of crimes

Posted by on 2021/09/25. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The chairman and chief executive officer of China’s debt-ridden Hainan Airlines Group have been detained by police on suspicion of criminal activity, the company said in a statement posted on its official wechat account on Friday.

The news jolted the public with the realisation that the problems of a giant group like Evergrande, which has huge debts, may be more serious than previously thought.
HNA’s statement said Chen Feng, chairman, and Tan Xiangdong, chief executive, “have been subjected to compulsory measures in accordance with the law for suspected crimes.” But the announcement did not provide any clues as to the crimes committed by the two men.

Chen Feng, 68, co-founder of HNA Group, has served as chairman since 2018, succeeding his predecessor Wang Jian, who died in France, According to Chinese media reports. Mr. Chen held leadership positions at the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the National Air Traffic Control Administration, and later served as an aviation assistant to the governor of Hainan Province, where he was responsible for setting up Hainan Airlines.

Feng Chen graduated from Lufthansa School of Air Transport Management in Germany and received an MBA degree from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. He received his senior Management diploma from Harvard Business School.

Wang died suddenly while traveling in the south of France in July 2018. French police said he died after falling from a wall eight metres above the ground.

According to public information, HNA ranks as the fourth largest aviation group in China, with a commercial fleet of 700 aircraft and 14 participating airlines. Hainan Airlines, the flagship enterprise of HAINAN Airlines, has been the “SKYTRAX Five-star Airlines” for ten consecutive years and has been ranked as the world’s best airline for many years.

After 2013, HNA’s frenetic expansion stalled and debt problems surfaced. HNA entered bankruptcy reorganization in January. Weighing down the star company is more than Rmb700bn in debt. That figure is small compared with Evergrande’s 2 trillion yuan debt, but it is too heavy for HNA to bear.

In March, Hainan’s high court ordered the merger and restructuring of 321 subsidiaries, including HNA Group, and appointed group managers to take charge of the restructuring of the 321 companies.

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