Three major international retailers have signed deals to open outlets in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province.

Wal-Mart of the US plans to spend US$65m on a ‘supercenter’, while Carrefour SA of France and Thailand’s Chia Tai will invest US$20m and US$15m respectively in new stores.

Other major retailers are expected to follow the push into Henan, which has the largest population (103 million) of any province in the country and which borders the coastal provinces of Anhui, Hebei and Shandong.