Since China has opened up the oil product retail market to the outside on December 11, 2004, the Ministry of Commerce has approved nine joint venture funded and solely foreign funded finished oil retailers and 2517 foreign funded gas stations.
According to local media, of the 2517 gas stations, more than 1500 have already been put into operation.
Statistics reportedly show that by the end of 2006, there were 93,879 gas stations in China, of which 28,801 were self-managed or franchise stations of Sinopec, accounting for 30.7% of the country's total. 18207 were self-managed or franchise stations of China National Petroleum Corporation, accounting for 19.4% of the total.
The remaining 46871 gas stations were either privately-owned, nationally-owned or foreign-invested, and took up 49.9% of the total.