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China's HNA wins government help in bid to stay afloat

Debt-ridden airline group unable to handle coronavirus fallout alone

Hainan Airlines' ridership dropped 35% in January from a year earlier. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

GUANGZHOU/BEIJING -- HNA Group, the once high-flying Chinese conglomerate that has fallen into dire financial straits, appears set to remain a going concern after successfully lobbying the state for support.

The fallout from the new coronavirus has dealt a blow to the group's flagship airline business, but the financial problems long predate the epidemic. A history of attaining scale through leverage left the privately held conglomerate exposed to unforeseen crises.

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