Top Chinese retailer takes on Wal-Mart

25 November 2004 – Shanghai (CHN): China’s top retailer Bailian Group is to expand its nationwide store network by almost half to 10,000 by 2010 in order to take on Wal-Mart and Carrefour through sheer force of numbers.

The group, which was born of a merger in 2003 to gain weight against foreign players, will see its flagship unit Shanghai Bailian Group debut on the stock market on Friday.

Bailian’s chairman Zhang Xinsheng said: "The domestic retail industry has to get bigger and stronger to deal with the challenge of foreign operators."

China’s retail sector will be fully opened up to foreign companies next month, according to WTO requirements.