Wal-Mart has moved to quash reports that it is cutting jobs across its operations in China.

The world's largest retailer had been reported to be planning a restructuring of its business in the country, with the revamp reportedly set to cost up to 1,400 jobs.

However, a spokesman for the US retail giant said that while the company is cutting some jobs at each Chinese store, the affected employees will be offered alternative positions.

"Wal-Mart China is not downsizing or laying off staff," a company spokesman said yesterday (15 April) "It is doing a business optimisation programme to better support the company's growth plan."

He added: "This means [Wal-Mart China is] eliminating a few mid-level management positions per store, and the affected managers are being offered the opportunity to serve in other stores, particularly in the new stores we will be opening where we need experienced management staff."

The company has also said it is looking to push on into China's regional cities in 2009 and believes a restructuring of its management team in the country would help the business grow.

Wal-Mart is looking to reduce the layers of management at its larger Supercenter stores from five to three, and said the revamp would not lead to job losses but free up managers to work at its new stores in China's "second-tier" and "third-tier" cities.

As at the end of March, Wal-Mart operated 246 stores in China.