Wal-Mart, the world's number 1 retailer, has announced that it will open eight more branches in five Chinese cities.

Wal-Mart's initial marketing strategy in China has been to gain the maximum market share in small and midsize cities. It selected Shenzhen, Dongguan and Kunming, but not Beijing, Shanghai and Zhengzhou, where competition is tougher, for its entry to the Chinese market.

Now it has achieved its target. So far, Wal-Mart has opened seven shopping malls and one warehouse club in China, with a total investment of more than 1.1bn yuan ($133m). After gaining a firm foothold in China, it has launched its expansion plan. Starting from this year, it has announced that it will open more shops in Kunming, Fuzhou, Shenyang, Shantou and Guangzhou, and increase the numbers of Wal-Mart stores in Shenzhen and Dalian.

Wal-Mart's first shopping centre and Sam's warehouse club opened in Shenzhen in 1996. Since then the company has had a major impact on local retailing.

Wal-Mart has not only had an impact on China's commerce, but has also introduced new operating concepts. Following suit, Chinese companies have opened a large number of big supermarkets and warehouse clubs in recent years.