In a country with over 500 beer producers, acquisitions appear to be high on the agenda for the giants of China's domestic beer market.

According to local press reports, Peng Zuoyi, president of the Bejjing-based beer giant Tsingtao, said his company will expand beer sales over the next six months through frequent acquisitions, targeting the capital cities of every province.

Meanwhile Tsingtao's main rival Haurun, which has backing from the Hong Kong Huarun Group, has set up companies in Tianjin Municipality and the Sichuan, Jilin, Liaoning and Anhui provinces. It is also looking to triumph in Shanghai, where according to the report no beer producer has an absolute advantage.

China Resources Beer Group is now China's third biggest beer producer after spending US$362m buying up brewers.

Although widely known throughout China, sales for Yanjing Beer and Tsingtao accounted for only 10% of the total 22.3m tonnes of beer produced in China in 2000.