Wahaha's chairman, Zong Qinghou, has emerged victorious from the Chinese company's latest battle with joint venture partner Danone in a China court.

A High Court judge in the Henan Province has this week ruled against two Danone subsidiaries, Myen Pte and Festine Pte.

The two firms had appealed an earlier ruling by the court in Wahaha's favour. They had alleged that Wahaha began operating subsidiaries outside of its joint venture with Danone and used them to illegally copy products that the two firms' had agreed would only be sold within the venture.

Danone, which signed a joint venture deal with Wahaha in 1996, is involved in legal disputes with the company in several countries around the world.

The Arbritration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Sweden, is currently examining evidence from both companies, upon request from Danone. Its conclusions could be a watershed moment in the dispute, according to both companies.

A Danone spokesperson in China told just-drinks that a ruling is expected in July.