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As Nissan Motor Co. struggles to recover from a boardroom scandal surrounding former Chairman Carlos Ghosn and a sales slump that threatens its alliance with Renault SA, China is emerging as its best bet for a turnaround.

Thanks to an early mover advantage and strategic partnership with Dongfeng Motor Group Co. in 2003, Nissan is one of the strongest Japanese passenger carmakers in China. It ranked fourth — excluding multipurpose vehicles — in June with a 6.7 percent share after Volkswagen AG’s two joint ventures and General Motors Co.’s tie-up with SAIC Motor Corp.

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