French retail giant Carrefour has denied reports it is in talks with Hong Kong-based China Resources Enterprise about a potential partnership deal in the Chinese retail sector.

China Resources Enterprise is understood to be seeking to buy a stake in Carrefour, according to Les Echos, citing unidentified people. Carrefour, however, said it "formally denies" the reports, while China Resources Enterprise could not be reached for comment.

Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat, who joined the business in May, is aiming to bring more clarity to the company after years of under-performance.

Last month, it agreed to offload its stores in Malaysia to Japanese retailer Aeon, the third sale since Plassat took charge in May, and this month sold its stake in its venture in Indonesia.