US supermarket retailer Wal-Mart is considering a part- or full purchase of one of China’s biggest retail groups. Daily Telegraph

The Arkansas-based company has asked advisers at Credit Suisse to draw up plans to invest in Beijing Hualian, a hypermarket operator with scores of stores in the capital and other cities across China.

The two sides are believed to have held some preliminary talks.

Analysts believe that Beijing Hualian, which is part-owned by the city of Beijing and has some of its shares listed in Shanghai, would be worth more than $1bn (£486m).

Wal-Mart operates about 70 of its own hypermarkets in China, although a deal signed in February to buy 35% of the owner of TrustMart, a Taiwanese-founded chain, gave it a stake in a further 100 outlets.