World retail giants are busy increasing their presence in China, with the optimistic view of a better investment environment after the country enters the World Trade Organization (WTO).
US based Wal-mart, the world's No.1 retailer, announced in Shanghai recently that it will open eight more chain stores in China next year.
Wal-mart opened its first store in Shenzhen in 1996 and became one of the first overseas retailers permitted to establish joint ventures in this country. To date, its investment in China has surpassed 900 million yuan (US$108.4 million) and its annual purchase of goods from China has reached US$10 billion.
Carrefour, a well-known French retailer now operating 26 stores in 14 Chinese cities, is considering opening 10 more in Shanghai.
German Metro, a transnational chain-store dealer with eight shops in such Chinese cities as Shanghai, Qingdao and Fuzhou, has also pledged to expand its Chinese market by opening 10 new shops a year in the future.
China began to open its commercial sector to overseas investment in 1992. With the step-up of China's entry into the WTO, the country is quickening its pace in opening up the commercial market.
According to official figures, overseas investment still only accounts for 2.5 percent of all retail sales in China.