Hangzhou Wahaha Group is to countersue Groupe Danone as the ongoing row between the joint venture partners rumbles on.

Wahaha said today (26 June) that it would sue its French partner for up to EUR5bn (US$6.73bn) for what it termed "illegal activities".

"We will countersue Danone, asking for EUR2bn to EUR5bn in damages," the company. "We have reliable evidence of their violations and will pursue their illegal activities according to the law."

Earlier this month, Danone filed a complaint in the US against Ever Maple Trading and Hangzhou Hongsheng Beverage Co. Wahaha is a subsidiary of Hangzhou Hongsheng, itself controlled by British Virgin Islands-based Ever Maple Trading.

"Hangzhou Wahaha Food and Beverage Sales is illegally selling products which are the same as those sold by Wahaha Joint Ventures and is making unlawful use of the joint ventures' distributors and suppliers," Danone said at the time. The company added that it hopes to "put a stop to the defendants' collective scheme to wrongfully interfere with its customer relationships and business prospects".