US brewer Anheuser-Busch will increase distribution of its Harbin 1900 and Harbin Ice beer to 12 additional Chinese markets this year, the Wall Street Journal reported. The beverage, which was introduced last year in 30 markets in China, increased Anheuser's sales volume and operating profit in the country by 20% in 2006. The company is making the move to compete against SABMiller, which is the largest company in the national beer market by volume and produces the Snow brand. Anheuser, which owns a 27% stake in Tsingtao Brewery, introduced premium beer in 2000 to the Chinese market, only to be ousted by low-cost local Chinese brands.
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