Wal-Mart has said it is planning to open at least ten new stores in China in 2005, to add to the 43 outlets it will already have by the end of this year.
The retail giant’s presence in China’s $240 billion retail market is now second only to heavyweight Carrefour among foreign retailers.
Wal-Mart China’s president Cassian Cheung said: "We really are very happy with the progress we have made in China over the last year."
But Wal-Mart’s CEO Lee Scott said he did not think the new rules freeing companies from joint venture agreements would affect his company’s business strategy. "We have no immediate plans to move away from a partnership structure," he said.