Australia-based brewer Lion Nathan said it was in talks with Heineken on joining forces to gain a larger slice of the Chinese beer market. Lion Nathan has been operating breweries in China for seven years but has yet to see any profit. Heineken imports beer into China and has a stake in three breweries in a venture with Asia Pacific Breweries. The talks on a possible JV mark the latest stage in a contest among international brewers eager to boost their share of China's fast-growing US$6 billion beer market. Anheuser-Busch and SABMiller, the worlds number one and number two brewers respectively, recently launched rival bids for control of China's Harbin Brewery, the country's fourth largest beer producer.