China Resources Beer Group is now the country's third-largest beer producer after spending three billion yuan ($362m) buying up breweries.

Stiff competition from local producers and high costs have forced many foreign brewers to pull out of China and the market is now facing some major consolidation as the country's three major brewers Tsingtao Beer, Yanjing Beer and China Resources do battle to buy up these breweries.

China has approximately 500 breweries and according to a report by the South China Post newspaper mainland China produced 22.31m tonnes in 2000, putting it second in the world after the US.

China Resources Beer has plants, which are run in partnership with South African Breweries (SAB) in Shenyang, Dalian and Jilin and plants in Tianjin, Chengdu and Anhui, which it owns outright.

Beer in China