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February 17, 2004

CHINA/FRANCE: Carrefour expands into western China

French retail giant Carrefour has opened its first hypermarket in Xinjiang, northwestern China, as it resumes its expansion in the Asian country.

French retail giant Carrefour has opened its first hypermarket in Xinjiang, northwestern China, as it resumes its expansion in the Asian country.

The opening of the new store will be followed by further expansion in Beijing and Shanghai, marking a return to expansion in China for Carrefour, which had put its plans on hold as it sought to overcome new regulations, reported Agence France-Presse.

Carrefour has now restructured its operations in China in order to comply with laws that prevent foreign companies from holding a stake of more than 65% in retail joint ventures in China.

“We are the first foreign distribution company in China to completely restructure,” Jean-Luc Chereau, the president of Carrefour China, was quoted by AFP as saying.

“This has allowed us to relaunch our expansion with the agreement of the local and national authorities.”  

Chereau said the company planned to open up to 12 new shops in China this year at the rate of about one per month.

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