Designer Charlotte Ronson is to launch into the Chinese market in partnership with MH Concepts, a privately-owned Hong Kong and Shanghai based company founded by ex-Gap vice president Meanne Ho.

The joint venture will see stores opening in Shanghai (IFC and Xintiandi), followed by openings in Hong Kong (Harbour City) in October, two more Shanghai locations next spring, and stores in Beijing and Guangzhou opening in summer 2011. MHC's business plan calls for a total of 200 freestanding, mall, and department store shops opening by 2014 throughout China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

The business venture is expected to gross US$5m-10m in its first year.

The Shanghai store opening will unveil the new Charlotte Ronson Boutique format, designed by Workshop for Architecture and New York designer John Lee.

Unlike the brand's previous internationally licensed deals, Charlotte Ronson will maintain creative control over product produced by MH Concepts.

Privately owned by Charlotte Ronson and Aaron Nir, the brand's current US revenue is US$30m annually.

"After announcing a Japanese distribution deal with The Wall Co Ltd six months ago, this second venture into the Asian market solidifies Charlotte Ronson as a new force in the global market," a statement said.