AEON, the Japanese retailer, has confirmed it is to move its convenience format onto the Chinese mainland.

The company is opening a chain of its Ministop convenience stores this summer within the Shandong Province city of Qingdao.

Ministop president Shingyou Abe said: “We have set up a joint venture with Aeon’s subsidiary in Qingdao and the chain finally got the formal go ahead from the Chinese government on 5 January, so we be rolling out stores shortly.”

The Japanese retailer now seems to be going head-to-head with other foreign operators in China using its successful convenience store model to spearhead operations.

Ministop now has 3,270 stores throughout Asia with 1,939 of them based in Japan. The company said it would now actively pursue a policy of expanding in Asia and Japan.