UK’s Imperial Brands in Joint Venture with Chinese Tobacco Monopoly
(Beijing) — British tobacco company Imperial Brands PLC said it will form a joint venture with Chinese tobacco monopoly China National Tobacco Corp. (CNTC) that aims to develop products for both the China and global markets.
China is the world’s largest market for tobacco, with more than 300 million smokers consuming 2.5 trillion cigarettes annually. Beijing has been reluctant in the past to aggressively discourage smoking due to its heavy reliance on tobacco tax revenue. But more recently it has come under growing pressure from health advocacy groups and a growing incidence of smoking-related diseases as people live longer.