Hite Brewery Co. has set up a subsidiary in China in an effort to boost its sales of spirits overseas.

Citing a regulatory filing, Asia Pulse said this week that Hite has established the subsidiary with a paid-in capital of US$150,000.

The company reportedly has plans to sell more soju in the Chinese market and will use the new unit to increase sales and marketing efforts in the area.

Earlier this month, Hite reported plans to also open units in Russia, the US and several other South-East Asian countries with a view to upping its performance beyond its South Korean homeland.

The South Korean company, which led a consortium to buy Jinro in 2005, was rumoured earlier this year to be considering an IPO of Jinro's Japanese unit, having reportedly dropped plans to sell the division.

Jinro, which accounted for 52.3% of soju sales in South Korea last year, was placed in receivership in 2003, after its debts rose to KRW1.72 trillion. Hite Brewery's consortium bought the company for KRW3.4 trillion.