Carrefour has announced plans to export its Dia hard discount format to China after successfully establishing itself in the market as a hypermarket operator. The first stores will open in the middle of next year in Beijing and Shanghai where Carrefour has already developed contacts and distribution networks. Communications chief Christian D'Olean said Carrefour had gradually developed expertise in smaller formats after inheriting a raft of smaller stores from Promodes, and was now in a position to export them. "We're ready to drive our smaller formats into new markets, such as China and Mexico, now," said D'Olean. The Chinese Dia operation will be headed by Diego Cavestany, formerly in charge of Dia in Portugal. Between 30 and 40 stores are planned for the initial rollout, which will concentrate on clusters of stores in big cities. {{NEWS }}