First of 23 planned malls kicks off supermarket giant's planned £500m spend in country this year

Tesco have opened the first of 23 planned superstores in China.

Some of the new “freehold malls” will include space for cinemas, flats and businesses, and comes as part of Tesco's continued to attempts to 'break' China.

The retail giant's Far East expansion follows sizeable investment from Wal-Mart and Carrefour, as the UK retailer tries to capitalise on the Chinese's newfound spending power.

Wal-Mart's share of Chinese hypermarket sales in 2009 was 45bn yuan (£4.1bn), Carrefour's 33bn yuan (£3bn), while Tesco accounted for just 11bn yuan (£1bn), according to data from Euromonitor.

The 30,000m² mall is in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province, with around fifty thousand locals attending the opening.

Tesco plans to spend £500m in China this year. That accounts for one-quarter of total capital expenditure outside the UK, and this ratio is expected to rise over the next five years.

Tesco will have 82 hypermarkets in China by February, but sales there are still less than 2% of the group's total.