C-store giant Seven-Eleven Japan plans to expand aggressively into China after forging a joint venture in Beijing.

The retailer has been given approval by China's Ministry of Commerce to strike a deal with the Beijing Shoulian Commercial Group and the China National Sugar & Alcohol Group.

It is understood that Seven-Eleven Japan will hold a stake of between 55 per cent and 65 per cent in the new business, Seven-Eleven (Beijing).

The 7-Eleven fascia is already present in southern China's Guangdong province. Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International has a 65 per cent stake in a joint venture with Sinogiant, and operates 150 7-Eleven stores under licence in the province.

The latest joint venture is Seven-Eleven Japan's first move into the country.

M+M Planet Retail analyst Robert Gregory said: 'Seven-Eleven are the world's best (c-store operators) so they've got a good chance to succeed. They have been trying for regulatory approval to get into Beijing for a couple of years. It's finally cleared, but they might have missed the boat a bit.'

The Chinese market is expected to grow rapidly, because giants such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour plan significant growth in the country.