After Afrika Shrine Visit, Chinese Billionaire Dies In France

Chinese tycoon Wang Jian, whose sprawling conglomerate HNA Group owns a host of foreign assets, has died after a falling off a wall while sightseeing in southern France, police and his company said Wednesday.

Wang suffered the fatal accident on Tuesday in the picturesque hillside village of Bonnieux after climbing onto a parapet, either to see the view of the valley below or to have his photograph taken, local security sources told AFP.

“He jumped up on to the wall and was carried over it by his own momentum,” a source close to the case told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The 57-year-old businessman, the co-founder of HNA and its second-highest ranking executive, fell into a 10-metre (32-foot) void, sustaining serious injuries that emergency services were unable to treat at the site.

“Together, we mourn the loss of an exceptionally gifted leader and role model, whose vision and values will continue to be a beacon for all who had the good fortune to know him,” his firm said in a statement issued in China.

HNA said Wang, whose personal fortune is estimated at 1.7 billion dollars by Forbes magazine, had been visiting Bonnieux during a business trip to France.

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