Weight Watchers is to enter the Chinese market under a venture with French food giant Danone.

The US-based firm will take a 51% stake in the business, which will look to sell the Weight Watchers range of weight management products to Chinese consumers.

"We believe that Groupe Danone is the ideal partner for Weight Watchers with its experience in China, its knowledge of Chinese consumers and its mission to bring healthy food to the world's population," said Weight Watchers president and CEO David Kirchhoff.

The venture is expected to get up and running within the next 12 months. Danone vice president Jacques Vincent said the move was "completely consistent" with the company's strategy to sell healthier products to Chinese consumers.

"This joint venture will offer to Chinese consumers a world famous approach dedicated to eating right and healthy living," Vincent added.