Top UK retailer Tesco said it has acquired almost total control of its Hymall superstore joint venture with Ting Hsin.

Tesco has bought 90% of the firm in a deal valued at GBP180m (US$351m). It previously held a stake of 50% in Taiwan-based Ting Hsin's subsidiary Ting Cao, which operates Hymall's 45 supermarkets.

"We have seen exciting growth in China since announcing the joint venture two years ago and are looking forward to the partnership entering a new phase," said Terry Leahy, Tesco's chief executive.

"Ting Hsin continues to be a large shareholder in the business…we benefit from their unrivalled local knowledge as we grow the Hymall business together".

Tesco last week doubled its space in Malaysia and said it plans to open 300 new international stores. At the end of last month it missed out as Wal-Mart entered the Indian retail market through a tie-up with Bharti Enterprises.

Ting Hsin chairman Wei Ying-Chiao said: "Ting Hsin has been pleased with the joint venture and the business development of Hymall over the last two years. As Ting Hsin focuses its efforts on its increasingly successful food business, it is appropriate at this time to review the joint venture so as to facilitate faster progress by ensuring greater Tesco involvement.

"Ting Hsin is committed to remaining a shareholder of Hymall and to providing Tesco with guidance and local expertise as it currently gains experience in China."