Carrefour has dismissed press reports that Chinese regulators have suddenly imposed new restrictions on its operations in the country. Carrefour resolved its dispute with the authorities over its relatively unbridled expansion in China in April and has since restructured its operations, reducing its holding companies from 27 ­ one per store, to 13 ­ one per local partner, said a spokesman. The first of eight new hypermarkets planned for this year opened in Chengdu on Tuesday and a second will open next month at Changsha, he added. By the end of the year, Carrefour will have 35 hypermarkets in China. Likewise, he said rules stipulating foreign retailers could own a maximum of 65% in supermarkets could not affect plans for Dia, the hard discount format Carrefour is planning to roll out aggressively next year. By contrast, Wal-Mart's expansion plans are on hold until it negotiates a similar deal with the authorities. Although Wal-Mart almost doubled its estate in China last year, opening eight new Supercentres to take its store total to 19, it has not opened a store since October. {{NEWS }}