British investors will be pleased when a more horizontal market will be 'open' in China for potential partnerships with foreign investors. Policies pertaining to strict regulations preventing joint-venture enterprises will be abolished by the end of the year as part of a commitment with the World Trade Organisation, leaving outside investors more freedom to invest in retail-related projects.

The move comes as Kingfisher of the UK announces plans for further expansion of its B&Q chain in China, while Tesco is reported to be in negotiations to buy a stake in a Chinese hypermarket chain owned by Ting Hsin International of Taiwan.

Currently, foreign retailers only account for approximately 3.5 per cent of total retail sales last year, according to the figures quoted by the Chinese media. Carrefour of France headed the table with sales in China up 25.7 per cent to 13.4bn yuan.


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