China's Ministry of Commerce has made Seven-Eleven the first overseas retailer to obtain a franchise certificate in China.
Seven-Eleven Beijing Company Ltd is a joint venture with Seven-Eleven Japan Co Ltd.
The company announced in May 2004, when its first China outlet opened, that it would launch 100 new stores within a year, and 500 by 2010. However, only 27 Seven-Eleven convenience stores have opened so far.
Seven-Eleven Beijing's Deputy President Li Yong told local media that he attributed this to the limitations on Seven-Eleven's franchise model.
Foreign companies were forbidden to use the franchise model in China until Feb 2005, and they still require certification.
The most recent financial statement from Seven-Eleven Beijing Co Ltd showed that the venture, with total assets of over RMB200 million at the end of last June, made a net loss of RMB7 million in the first half of last year.